Montana is not happy about TikTok, and now TikTok is not happy about Montana.
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte recently signed a bill banning TikTok in the state continuing the path of a few months ago when Montana passed a law prohibiting the downloading of the app through the state. TikTok recently responded to the ban by filing a federal lawsuit against the state.
TikTok still fights to allow the usage of the app and undo the laws being passed to remove the app. During a statement to CNN, TikTok said it would push to defend the rights of users in Montana. “Governor Gianforte has signed a bill that infringes on the First Amendment rights of the people of Montana by unlawfully banning TikTok, a platform that empowers hundreds of thousands of people across the state. 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.”
Aderinsola Oshuntuyi, a freshman at Whitney Young Magnet High School, has a similar reason for her use of TikTok. “TikTok has become a staple in my everyday life. I would hate for it to be banned because it’s a fun way for me to interact with my friends and stay entertained. If TikTok is banned in Illinois, I’d have to adjust by using other social media apps like Instagram instead.”
Lindblom Math and Science freshman, Amia Mallory, said, had a similar viewpoint to Oshuntuyi. “I can understand the banning, TikTok has a strong influence and can consume the youth’s time till the point of addiction. If TikTok were to be banned in Illinois I would turn to another social media app.”
Gianforte tweeted that he has banned TikTok in Montana “to protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party,” officially making it the first state to ban the social media application.
While Montana’s intention is to protect the citizens of their state, is it fair for them to make personal decisions for the people of that state? I think the decision to use TikTok should be decided by the user, not their government. TikTok is a platform used for creativity, expression, social justice, and to spread awareness on serious issues. By prohibiting TikTok they are taking away an outlet of for us to exercise our freedom of expression.
Or are they?
Would you be upset if Illinois followed Montana and got rid of TikTok? Hit me up and let me know.
By Amariyah Mallory, Freshman, Whitney Young
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