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Tiktok Ban In Montana: All The Details You Need To Know

On May 17th, Montana became the first U.S state to enact a complete ban on TikTok, the viral social media app owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance.



Tiktok Ban In Montana: All The Details You Need To Know

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On May 17th, Montana became the first U.S state to enact a complete ban on TikTok, the viral social media app owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance. Governor Greg Gianforte’s move is more extensive than any other state’s attempts to limit the app’s influence.

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Tiktok Ban In Montana: All The Details You Need To Know 3

Montana’s Unprecedented Action

Republican Governor Greg Gianforte signed the measure, set to take effect on January 1, 2024. “Today, 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,” Gianforte declared.

The Concerns Over TikTok

TikTok, known for its short, entertaining videos, is also under scrutiny for its potential misuse. The company and its parent, ByteDance, have been accused of potentially being a conduit for the Chinese government to access U.S citizens’ data or disseminate pro-Beijing misinformation.

FBI’s and Other Agencies’ Stance

Some lawmakers, along with the FBI, and officials from other agencies fear that the video-sharing app could be exploited to serve these purposes. However, TikTok vehemently denies these allegations, stating that such misuses have never occurred.

ByteDance’s Counterclaim

In a controversial revelation, a former ByteDance executive alleges that the tech giant serves as a “propaganda tool” for the Chinese government. ByteDance refutes this claim, labeling it as baseless.

The Use of TikTok by Businesses

TikTok’s significance extends beyond personal expression and community building. Many small businesses and influencers use the platform to earn a living, indicating the substantial potential economic impact of such a ban.

Legal and Technical Challenges to the Ban

Despite Montana’s decisive move, many believe that the law may face significant legal and technical obstacles.

The Role of VPNs

Tech-savvy users can potentially circumvent the ban by using a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs can shield internet users by encrypting their data traffic, effectively hiding their online activities.

Potential Court Cases

Many experts following the bill closely expect Montana to have to defend the legislation in court. Groups like the American Civil Liberties of Montana and trade group NetChoice, which includes TikTok and Google as members, have already criticized the law as unconstitutional.

Impact on Users and Businesses

The ban impacts not only individual users but also local content creators and businesses that leverage the platform.

Story of Adam Botkin

Consider Adam Botkin, a former football player and recent University of Montana graduate. As a TikTok influencer with nearly 170,000 followers, he expressed concerns about his ability to continue creating content and earning a living under the ban. Despite his worries, he says, “You got to adapt and evolve with how things move. So, if I have to adapt and move, I’ll adapt.”

A Brief History of TikTok Ban Attempts

The move in Montana isn’t the first instance of an attempted TikTok ban in the U.S.

Trump’s Ban Attempt

In 2020, then-President Donald Trump attempted to ban the company from operating in the U.S., but his executive order was halted in federal courts.

Biden’s Stance

President Joe Biden’s administration initially shelved those plans, but has recently threatened to ban the app if ByteDance does not divest its stakes.

TikTok’s Efforts to Assure Safety

Amid the turmoil, TikTok has been proactive in demonstrating its commitment to user data safety.

Project Texas

It’s currently promoting a data safety plan known as “Project Texas” to alleviate bipartisan concerns in Washington and prove its independence from any potential Chinese government interference.

The Broader Context: Social Media Restrictions

This issue extends beyond TikTok, as there is a growing movement to limit social media use among kids and teens and, in some cases, to impose outright bans.

Age Restrictions on Social Media

Bills circulating in Congress aim to address the issue, including one that would prohibit all children under the age of 13 from using social media without parental consent.

Laws in Utah, Arkansas, and California

Some states, such as Utah and Arkansas, have already enacted laws tying social media use to parental consent. California, on the other hand, has enforced a law requiring companies to enhance data protection practices for children.


As the TikTok ban saga unfolds, it’s clear that the wider conversation around data privacy, cybersecurity, and the role of social media in society is far from over. The Montana ban may be the first, but it’s unlikely to be the last, as lawmakers and tech companies grapple with these complex issues in an increasingly digital world.


  1. When will the TikTok ban in Montana take effect? The ban will take effect on January 1, 2024.
  2. Why is Montana banning TikTok? The state cites concerns over data privacy and potential misuse by the Chinese government.
  3. Can users bypass the ban using VPNs? Technically, a VPN could be used to circumvent the ban, but whether users will do so remains to be seen.
  4. What is TikTok’s response to the ban? TikTok has rejected the allegations and is actively defending the rights of its users.
  5. Are other states likely to follow Montana’s lead? While it’s possible, each state will likely assess the impact and outcomes of Montana’s decision before considering a similar ban.

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I have a passion for blogging about what's trending in Hip-Hop, politics and entertainment. I'm a huge Hip-hop fan; my favorite artiste are Chris Brown, Jay'z & Beyonce. I also enjoy spending time with my team (#TeamWE), and working hard as hard work pays off.

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