TikTok is now banned in the state of Montana. GOP Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed a bill designed to restrict the social giant on state grounds more than any other state has. The ban imposes a $10,000 ban on anyone offered the “ability” to access the app. Previously, several other states, including Alabama, managed to restrict the use of the platform in public educational institutions. This notably included several universities, including Auburn University.
The bans come amid security concerns regarding personal information allegedly mined by the app. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in March, where he clarified the root of several of the concerns. The most common misconception was that TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, was sharing personal information with the Chinese government. The app is not available for users in mainland China.
Today’s Montana ban may set a precedent for future bans nationwide. Several states have already begun restricting access to information via legislation like the Don’t Say Gay Bill in Florida, and a TikTok ban may serve as the final nail in the coffin.
Social Media Reactions
Today, social media prepares for what could become a major shift in the world of internet culture. TikTok has largely set trends in fashion and music since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. Small business owners additionally rely on the platform to find a customer base. Many argue that amid the vague “security concerns” associated with the social media platform, there are much more pressing issues in the U.S. Among these issues are the continuous rise of mass shootings.
i feel like there MIGHT be JUST one or two more problems than tiktok in america currently…
— ໊ (@WTFCHARLl) May 17, 2023
It is likely that the ban will be challenged in court, but the outcome will likely set the precedent for just how far other states could take TikTok restrictions. Some feel that a ban could violate the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects free speech.
Gotta be some type of breach of the 1st amendment with this. Going to get interesting real quick
— Michael Garcia (@MichaelGar93) May 17, 2023
Should the ban survive a court challenge, it will go into effect on January 1, 2024. No other politicians have spoken on further bans at this time.