Montana is closing in on becoming the first state in the nation to ban the social media platform TikTok. Elinor Smith of the UM Legislative News Service reports that The House of Representatives passed a bill 54-43 Friday that would penalize app stores for providing anyone within Montana’s borders access to TikTok after the Senate passed the bill on a 30-to-20 vote last month.
The bill would carry fines of $10,000 per person able to access the app, compounded daily. The bill would not fine Montanans who access the app, just the app store they used to download it.
Supporters said that TikTok is not only collecting users’ data and sending it back to its parent company ByteDance, which has ties to the Chinese Communist Party, but it also gives Montana’s children unfettered access to dangerous online trends.
Opponents of the bill said data privacy is a serious issue in Montana, but banning TikTok wouldn’t do much to protect Montanans in the long-run. They also argued that Montanans use Tik Tok to advertise & market their businesses.
The bill is scheduled now to head to the governor’s desk for his signature or veto.