Montana will be the first state in the USA to ban the popular social media app TikTok. The state legislature passed a bill requiring that app stores ban the app in the state of Montana.
The ban is supposed to be put into effect in 2024, though it’s likely that it could get legally challenged before then. The reason behind the ban is the same as the ban that Congress and the Senate placed on the app in previous months.
The Montana bill claims that TikTok’s official ties to ByteDance place users at risk of their data ending up in the Chinese Government’s hands. TikTok has vehemently denied these accusations. CEO Shou Chew testified at a Congressional hearing last month where he tried, largely unsuccessfully, to downplay the company’s ties to ByteDance and China.
TikTok is even investing billions of dollars into two projects in the US and Europe to try to counter-balance these claims and keep a foot in both continents. The New York Times suggests that Montana’s ban could be viewed as a test for the rest of the states to follow if successful.
TikTok has since issued a statement saying that it will only hurt small businesses who rely on social media for marketing, saying that it is “egregious government overreach” and plans to fight the legislation. It certainly does place pressure on the idea of the global internet.
The cynical part of me does have to wonder what all this fuss over an app is really all about and whether it is merely a smokescreen to avoid the spotlight on other issues.
[Via The New York Times]