Skip to content

TikTok ban: First US state approves bill with $10,000 fines

  • by

Last month, lawmakers in Montana voted to approve a first-of-its-kind bill to ban TikTok across the state. The final hurdle for that bill was a signature from Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, and he has now officially given the bill his seal of approval. The bill includes a $10,000 fine per violation, though there are major questions on how the ban will be enforced.

TikTok ban: Montana bill receives final approval

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the bill is set to completely ban TikTok across Montana effective January 1, 2024. With this legislation passed, Montana has become the first state in the US to implement a statewide TikTok ban.

Under the bill, ByteDance will be barred from operating in any form or fashion in Montana. Anyone found to be violating the law will be fined $10,000 per violation per day. This fine, however, wouldn’t be paid by the TikTok user but rather ByteDance itself. Any app store caught distributing the app after the ban goes into effect would also be charged, including Apple and Google.

Even though the bill has received all the approval it needs in the state of Montana, there are expected to be legal challenges over the next seven months. Legal experts expect that whatever happens in Montana will set a precedent for the rest of the United States. The US federal government has banned TikTok on government devices, as have numerous other countries around the world.

Montana has said it wants to be a “leader” when it comes to cracking down on the availability of TikTok in the United States. For example, the state’s attorney general has described TikTok as a “tool used by the Chinese government to spy on Montanans.”

Despite today’s approval from Governor Gianforte, there are still unanswered questions about how exactly the ban will be implemented. Shelley Vance, the Montana state senator who sponsored the bill, has said the “onus of complying with the legislation would be on TikTok itself.”

ByteDance, the China-based company that owns TikTok, says that the constitutionality of the TikTok ban in Montana will be decided by the courts. The company says that it will “continue to fight for TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach.”

Montana’s bill, the state says, would be void if the United States enacts a federal ban on TikTok or if “TikTok severs its Chinese connections.”

Apple and Google have not responded publicly to this bill, even though they would be on the hook for $10,000 penalties for every violation.

Follow ChanceTwitterInstagram, and Mastodon

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *