TikTok (aka lightning rod) has yet again taken a punch to the chest in the United States, as Montana State becomes the first state in the U.S. to pass legislation that could potentially ban the social media platform.
The bill, known as SB 419, passed by a vote of 54 to 43, and is yet to be signed by the governor, cites a number of concerns about TikTok, including alleged surveillance from the Chinese government and encouragement of "dangerous activities" among young users of the app.
The TikTok app is prohibited from being offered by app stores under the new legislation, but those who have already downloaded the app are not restricted from using it. Failing to comply with the provisions set forth in the bill could carry a penalty of up to $10,000. However, the penalties apply to companies, rather than individual users.
TikTok has since expressed its disappointment over the development and says it will take legal action to challenge the bill.
All this is happening while the company is under fire, facing a potential federal ban in the country, over similar allegations. Some states in the U.S. have already restricted government employees from using TikTok on official devices.
It's clear that TikTok's increasing popularity has made it become a lightning rod, with several governments around the world expressing concern over its potential to be used as a tool for data collection by the Chinese state.
The social media giant will likely face continued scrutiny and regulation as it seeks to navigate these challenges.