Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a bill Wednesday that made Montana the first state to completely ban TikTok.
“To protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party, I have banned TikTok in Montana,” Gianforte stated on Twitter.
To protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party, I have banned TikTok in Montana.— Governor Greg Gianforte (@GovGianforte) May 17, 2023
The ban will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024, and “will almost certainly be challenged in court,” according to The New York Times.
TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter responded to the law by stating, “We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue working to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana.”
How does the Montana TikTok ban work?
The new law would fine an app store or TikTok $10,000 a day every time someone in the state is “offered the ability” to access or download the social media app, The Associated Press reported.
Experts, however, say that the law would be difficult to enforce.
Will other states follow?
The Montana law is the first of its kind, and it is unclear if other states will follow Gianforte’s lead.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said in a press conference that he shared Gianforte’s concerns with the social media platform’s ties to the Chinese government. Cox also expressed that he also worries about how powerful and addictive the algorithms and format of the video sharing app can be on young people in Utah.
“TikTok is a different kind of animal altogether, and so I applaud Gov. Gianforte and the work that’s being done there in Montana on TikTok,” Cox said. He added, “We’ll be watching that one very closely to see what happens and how that plays out and to see what the benefits are but we’re gonna do everything we can in Utah to protect our children.”
TikTok is already banned on government devices after President Joe Biden signed a bill last year. However, in March, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee voted to advance a bill that would allow Biden to ban the app on personal devices nationwide, according to the Times.
Meanwhile, Utah and Arkansas both have laws that require parental approval to use TikTok for anyone under the age of 18.