Judge rejects Montana’s TikTok ban

A federal judge temporarily lifted the TikTok ban imposed by the US state of Montana. The law was supposed to go into effect in January, but according to the judge, Montana is going too far on the ban, including on free speech.

Many US states do not allow government officials to install social media apps on mobile phones, but in Montana the ban could go much further. Those who “facilitate” app downloading or use (e.g. app stores) can be fined up to $10,000 per day. This penalty will not apply to users.

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte defends the law, arguing that the ban would prevent Americans’ sensitive data from falling into China’s hands; TikTok’s parent company is ByteDance, a Chinese company. There are also fears that China is using the app to spread propaganda.

Five so-called creators had objected to the ban, just like TikTok: Creators make money through the app, for example, by advertising their companies on the platform or through funny videos.

The legal dispute has not yet been resolved. This is an interim decision and the parties may still provide new information. The state of Montana said it was confident it could still convince the judge and prevent Montanan’s data from falling into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.

Source: NOS