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Montana Banned TikTok. Now What?

Montana is the first state to ban the Chinese-owned social media app—what kind of example could it set for the rest of the country?

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TikTok is one of America’s most popular social media apps, especially adored by Gen Zers, who use it to share funny memes, create elaborate dances, discuss politics, dabble in activism, and pretty much anything else you can think of. And yet the app, which is owned by Chinese parent company Bytedance, is currently at risk of being banned in the U.S., with Montana being the first state to do so.

Critics argue that TikTok is a security threat, sophisticated spyware masquerading as a harmless social media site. The app’s defenders argue that it encourages self-expression, creates meaningful opportunities for connection, and can help entrepreneurs build businesses. Many are also concerned that the TikTok bans are overly broad, and could set a dangerous precedent for the future of the internet. Ultimately, where you fall in the debate might depend on whether or not you’re a regular TikTok user.

Read on to explore TikTok’s rise in popularity and how it got on the wrong side of Washington, what’s at stake, and why the debate is about more than just the social media platform.

Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

What Just About Everyone Is Getting Wrong About Banning TikTok

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TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew underwent an experience familiar to many tech executives: getting heat in front of Congress. Unique to TikTok, however, was that some politicians used the hearing to argue for a complete ban of the platform in the United States. Rep.

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