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TikTok completely banned in first US state

Catherine Lewis

Published 
| Last updated 

TikTok completely banned in first US state

Featured Image Credit: Nik via Unsplash, TikTok

Short-form video hosting service TikTok is in hot water in the U.S., as one Montana governor has become the first to sign a bill to completely ban it. It’s thought that the legal battle to come could end up determining whether or not TikTok gets banned nationwide.

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America’s battle against the social media service has been going on for some time now. Last year, one Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner, Brendan Carr, wrote an open letter to Apple and Google in an attempt to get the app removed from app stores. He alleged: “TikTok is not what it appears to be on the surface. It is not just an app for sharing funny videos or memes. That’s the sheep’s clothing. At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data.”

Take a look at this TikToker pretending to be a real-life NPC below.

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As The Wall Street Journal reports, the Republican governor Greg Gianforte signed the bill on Wednesday (17 May), and as it stands, TikTok will be banned in Montana from 1 January 2024. However, this could get pushed back if the ban is legally challenged.

Individual TikTok users shouldn’t face punishment as a result of the ban, but the law will apparently completely prevent the app and website from operating within Montana, and app stores will be forbidden from making it possible to download the app in the state - violations of this could result in fine of $10,000 per day for both TikTok and the app stores.

One TikTok spokesperson claimed that the law “infringes on the First Amendment rights of the people of Montana by unlawfully banning TikTok”. At this point, it isn’t clear whether TikTok will challenge the ban, but if it does, it’s thought that the case could go in its favour.

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“Montana is going to have a very difficult time persuading the courts that this kind of ban is consistent with the First Amendment,” Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University said.

Topics: TikTok, Real Life

Catherine Lewis
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