Montana has become the first state in the United States to ban the use of TikTok.
State legislators signed the bill into law on Wednesday, making it illegal for TikTok to operate in the state from January 2024.
However, critics condemned the law, stating it’s unconstitutional, as it goes against the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and the press.
“Montanans are indisputably exercising their First Amendment rights when they post and consume content on TikTok,” Jameel Jaffer, executive director at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, told The Independent
“Because Montana can’t establish that the ban is necessary or tailored to any legitimate interest, the law is almost certain to be struck down as unconstitutional.” he added.
While more than Montana’s 200,000 TikTok users will not face any fine for using the app, however TikTok and other companies face a daily fine of $10,000 for each time a user accesses app or downloads the app.
Citizens can still bypass the law by using VPN.
In response to the law, TikTok through it’s spokesperson said: “We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue working to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana.”
In recent times, the use TikTok has been restricted across America and Europe on the suspicion that the Chinese-owned app could be a source of security threat.