NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 02:39
A federal judge has temporarily put an end to the TikTok ban imposed by the US state of Montana. It was supposed to come into effect in January, but according to the judge, Montana is going too far with the ban, partly because of freedom of expression.
In many US states, government officials are not allowed to put the social media app on their mobile phone, but in Montana the ban would go much further. Those “enabling” the app to be downloaded or used – for example app stores – could be fined up to $10,000 per day. This fine would not apply to users.
Governor Greg Gianforte of Montana defends the law, arguing that a ban would prevent sensitive data of Americans from falling into the hands of China; TikTok’s parent company is ByteDance, a Chinese company. It is also feared that China is using the app to spread propaganda.
Five people, so-called content creators, had challenged the ban, just like TikTok itself. The content creators earn their money with the app, for example by promoting their company on the platform or through funny videos.
The legal battle has not yet been settled. This is an interim judgment, parties can still provide new information. The state of Montana said it is confident that it will still be able to convince the judge and prevent “Montanans’ data from falling into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”