Governor Greg Gianforte has signed the bill to ban TikTok across the state of Montana, US. The law is supposed to take effect from January 1, 2024. The ban is being exercised citing issues related to national security. Legal challenges to the passing of this law were expected. Confirming that apprehension, five TikTok creators have sued the state in an effort to block the ban.
TikTok has over 200,000 users in Montana along with 6000 business accounts. The users of TikTok there, like anywhere else, use the app to spread their content and ideas as well as to promote their businesses. A large number of people use the platform even to sell their products and wares.
With the ban in place TikTok will be prohibited from operating within the state of Montana and the AppStore will be bound to prevent users from downloading the app. There will be no penalties for users who continue to use TikTok, but TikTok and AppStore will have to pay $10,000 per day in penalties if they do not adhere to the law.
Also Read – A Complete Guide on TikTok Gifts Worth
Regarding the issue, a TikTok spokesperson said, “Governor Gianforte has signed a bill that infringes on the First Amendment rights of the people of Montana by unlawfully banning TikTok, a platform that empowers hundreds of thousands of people across the state”. The lawsuit filed by the TikTok users has a similar argument. The lawsuit says, “Montana can no more ban its residents from viewing or posting to TikTok than it could ban the Wall Street Journal because of who owns it or the ideas it publishes.”
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a chinese company with close ties with the Chinese government. Although TikTok has assured the US government about taking every step to ensure data security, the state of Montana is not convinced. Notably, India, a country that had 150 million active TikTok users, banned the app in June 2020 over national security concerns.