What You Need to Know about the TikTok Ban in Montana

Apr 17, 2023

No More TikTok in Montana

Last week, Montana became the first state to provide a blanket ban for TikTok via Bill SB 419.

The lawmakers cite concerns over the app, as well as how it impacts user behavior.

The bill says it has concerns over the Chinese government spying on Americans, but continues to provide no clear proof that this is happening or has ever happened.

The bill also says TikTok is dangerous due to dangerous stunts and challenges users participate in. However, there has been no move against other apps that incite the same thing, streaming shows, platforms, television networks, or even the internet as a whole.

The ban won’t stop current users from using it, but will prevent new users from downloading it. And while individuals won’t face fines for using it, the companies that carry it in their app store (like Apple) will- with a whopping $10K fine per day.

Okay, this is scary. So what does this mean?

This is the first-time in US history that a business has been restricted on such a massive scale by the government without any proof of wrongdoing. This should be terrifying for all of us. And again, if we look deeper into the legislation that Congress is trying to pass against TikTok, you can see there are lots of deeper concerns- like the bill removing citizen voting power for deciding who in our government decides what apps we use.

As far as the concerns around how TikTok harms youth- the same arguments have been used for decades around TV, the internet, and literally all forms of social media. Youtube was accused of spreading hate messages. Twitter’s security issues impacted an election. Facebook has faced similar criticism. Instagram conducted research showing how its app was harming teenager’s self-esteem. But this is the first platform that’s been so vehemently attacked. So we find it hard to believe that this is really around consumer safety and more about control.

The other weird thing is that legislators have no plan for how they’re actually going to enforce this.

This legislation hasn’t gone into effect yet, and we expect TikTok to appeal, because Constitutional rights and what not.

So what does this mean for me as a creator?

As a monetized creator or business owner, it should be concerning to you that the government is telling you what platforms you can and cannot monetize on- especially without proof that there’s actually something wrong.

But this is a great example as to why we recommend using short-form video as a top-of-funnel mechanism to get your followers off of socials and into your ecosystem. Because the truth is, all social media is rented real-estate.

The other truth is that regardless of government involvement, the players in tech are constantly changing (Remember Myspace? Blogspot?) There are already new apps that are gaining traction while TikTok is fighting to survive.

The players will constantly change, for a wide variety of reasons. But what’s not changing is our reliance on short-form video. TikTok forever changed the game of how we consume content. So whether or not you’re on TikTok, you need to master the art of making short-form videos.

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