Montana became the first US state to pass a law (54 votes to 43) banning the installation of the TikTok app on all devices, including personal ones. If Gov. Greg Gianforte signs the bill into law, the ban will go into effect next January. TikTok owner ByteDance has announced that it will file a lawsuit to prevent such a scenario.
Law number SB 419 relates to threats emanating from TikTok, including surveillance by Chinese authorities-controlled entities. It also notes that the platform encourages it “dangerous activities” young users such as “Throwing objects at moving cars” And “Lighting mirrors and then trying to extinguish them with your own body parts”.
To combat these phenomena, the law prohibits app stores from offering TikTok installs to residents of the state, while allowing them to use applications already installed. Businesses violating the ban face a $10,000 fine — the Justice Department has control over the application of the law. As expected, the head of the region, Republican Gianforte, who previously signed the ban on TikTok on officials’ devices, will also sign a new document.
The TikTok administration met the initiative with hostility and noted this “Proponents of the law have acknowledged that they have no realistic plan to implement this attempt to censor American voices and that courts will determine the law’s constitutionality. <..> We will continue to fight for the rights of TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this heinous abuse by the government.”.