USA – Montana lawmakers made waves on Friday by passing a bill that would ban the popular Beijing-based ByteDance, Social Media Chinese App TikTok from operating within the state’s borders. Although it’s likely to face legal challenges, this move serves as a testing ground for the TikTok-free America that many national lawmakers have been pushing for.
The bill has been sent to Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte for his consideration, and if he signs it into law, Montana will become one of the few states to completely ban the app. The state House voted 54-43 in favor of the bill, which goes beyond the prohibitions in nearly half of the states and the US federal government that only prohibit the use of TikTok on government devices. Montana already prohibits the use of the app on state-owned devices.
Despite the bill’s passage, there are concerns about its constitutionality and potential impact on free speech. TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter has been vocal in her opposition to the bill, stating that “We will continue to fight for TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach.”
It’s unclear how the ban would be enforced, and critics have argued that the bill’s supporters have no feasible plan for implementing it. Nevertheless, the bill’s passage is a significant development in the ongoing debate over the safety and security of apps like TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.
As with any new technology, there are potential risks and benefits to consider. While TikTok has become an incredibly popular platform for sharing short videos and connecting with others, there are concerns about data privacy and security, as well as the potential for foreign influence and propaganda.
By passing this bill, Montana lawmakers are taking a stand against these potential risks and sending a message to the rest of the country that they take data privacy and security seriously. It remains to be seen how this will play out in the courts, but regardless of the outcome, this move is sure to generate further discussion and debate about the role of technology in our lives.
In conclusion, the passing of the bill banning TikTok in Montana is a significant development in the ongoing debate over the safety and security of social media apps. While there are concerns about its constitutionality and impact on free speech, this move serves as a testing ground for the TikTok-free America that many lawmakers have envisioned.