Montana becomes first state to ban TikTok

May 18, 2023
TikTok displayed on phone in app store

Montana takes the most decisive action of any state to protect Montanans’ private data and sensitive personal information from being harvested by the Chinese Communist Party.

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R) after signing a law banning TikTok in the state beginning on January 1, 2024.

Why It Matters: Montana is the first U.S. state to ban TikTok, one of the country's most popular social media apps. The ban comes amid broader concerns over the Chinese-owned app and its potential risks regarding safety and data (Montana is one of 30+ states that has banned TikTok on government-owned devices). The new law prohibits the app to be downloaded and would fine either the app store or TikTok $10,000 per day for each time an individual is offered to access the app or download it (i.e. advertising). Users would not be penalized.

The Pushback: The law has been criticized by TikTok, with one spokesperson stating it is unlawful and infringes on free speech. TikTok has not confirmed whether they will file a lawsuit. Other U.S. groups, such as the American Civil Liberties of Montana and NetChoice, a trade group, have called it unconstitutional.

Montana says 1st-in-nation TikTok ban protects people. TikTok says it violates their rights (The Associated Press)

Montana becomes first US state to ban TikTok over security concerns (USA Today)

by Jenna Lee,