TikTok is a popular social media app designed and owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, facing heat in Montana, it’s the first US state to pass a bill banning TikTok from operating in the state. TikTok allows users to create short videos set to trending music or other audio. Within no time, TikTok became the number one app worldwide. It uses intelligent algorithms to recommend videos to users based on their interests, trendy and fresh content.
TikTok received a lot of criticism over its privacy and security policies, many countries banned this app over risk to privacy and security issues, and now Montana joins.
Montana passed a bill to ban TikTok by a 54-43 vote. The bill approved by the GOP-controlled legislature on Friday, April 14, 2023, and now awaits the final signature from Republican Governor Greg Gianforte.
SB419 bill is more sweeping than bans in place in nearly half the states and the federal government, which prohibit TikTok on government devices. The bill forbids the use of TikTok by individuals statewide and carries a $10,000 penalty for app stores that offer TikTok app for download. However, individual users who already have the app would not be penalized for accessing it.
The main reason behind the ban is the concern over potential Chinese spying through the app. TikTok has been accused of sharing user data with the Chinese government. TikTok has denied these allegations and said it operates independently of ByteDance.
TikTok company urged its users in Montana to oppose the ban by contacting their state representatives or the governor. The company has also promised to challenge the bill’s constitutionality in court, claiming it violates the First Amendment rights of TikTok users and creators. Some TikTok users have also expressed their opposition to the ban by using the hashtag #MTLovesTikTok | TikTok Ban Montana
Countries Banned TikTok App entirely or partially
India: Banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps in 2020
Afghanistan: Banned in April 2022, says the content was not consistent with Islamic laws
Australia: Banned from all federal government-owned devices on April 4, 2023
Belgium: Banned from the government mobile devices
Canada: Banned from all government mobile devices in February 2023.
Denmark: Banned from all government mobile devices in March 2023.
Netherlands: The Netherlands advised its officials not to use TikTok on their work phones