Montana’s legislation mirrors federal legislation that has bipartisan support

This week, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti announced that Tennessee joined a 19-state coalition filing an amicus brief supporting Montana’s legislation that would prohibit the app in the state unless it separates from its parent Chinese company ByteDance.

“I’m glad to support Montana’s right to protect its consumers and our national security,” General Skrmetti said. “My office has been in court fighting with TikTok here in Tennessee because of related concerns about TikTok’s impact on our kids. If TikTok wants to maintain access to American consumers, it must take all necessary steps to make its platform safe.”

Montana’s legislation is nearly identical to the federal legislation that has received bipartisan support from both Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and President Joe Biden (D). On March 7th, the federal legislation passed 50-0 out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The purpose of the Montana bill is not to ban TikTok but rather to protect Montanans and their data by requiring the app to divest from ByteDance.

The attorneys general highlight that TikTok was the second most downloaded mobile application worldwide last year, with 654 million downloads. The United States has the world’s largest TikTok audience, with 150 million users, and is one of the top online platforms for U.S. teens ages 13 to 17.

The brief notes that TikTok, like many other social media sites, is addictive and social media addiction has been traced to higher odds of depression and increased anxiety. It also lays out TikTok’s extensive connections to the Chinese government.

In addition to Tennessee, the following states signed onto the brief: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

The brief can be read HERE.

Image by myriammira on Freepik.

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