Mississippi News

Fitch asks court to let Montana’s TikTok law stand

Attorney General Lynn Fitch says that Mississippi has joined a 19-state amicus brief in the case of TikTok Inc. vs. Knudsen, supporting Montana’s legislation that would prohibit the app in the state unless it separates from its parent Chinese company, ByteDance.

“The right of the people, through their states, to protect citizen safety and wellbeing is clear,” said Fitch. “And that is especially true where children are concerned. TikTok aggressively requires the personal data of its users, and we must be vigilant about how that data is being used and with whom it is being shared.”

The purpose of the law is not to ban TikTok nor is it aimed at any particular content on TikTok, but rather to protect Montanans and their data by requiring the app to divest from its Chinese parent, ByteDance.

Montana’s law is nearly identical to the federal legislation that has received bipartisan support from both House Speaker Mike Johnson and President Joe Biden. On March 7, 2024, the federal legislation (H.R. 7521) passed 50-0 out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *