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Montana Becomes First State to Ban TikTok, as Rights Groups Warn of Censorship and Sinophobia

HeadlineMay 18, 2023

Montana’s Republican governor has signed legislation banning TikTok, making Montana the first U.S. state to outlaw the popular social media app. The new law forbids app stores like those operated by Apple and Google from making TikTok available for download in Montana, with fines of $10,000 a day for violators. Civil liberties groups have promised a legal challenge. Keegan Medrano of the ACLU of Montana said in a statement, “With this ban, Governor Gianforte and the Montana legislature have trampled on the free speech of hundreds of thousands of Montanans who use the app to express themselves, gather information, and run their small business, in the name of anti-Chinese sentiment.” In March, the Biden administration threatened to ban TikTok unless its Chinese owners agree to sell their stake in the company.

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