Tennessee AG Skrmetti Supports Montana’s TikTok Legislation

Tennessee joins coalition backing Montana's TikTok divestiture law.
Public Safety

NASHVILLE – In a significant move highlighting concerns over digital privacy and national security, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti announced his state’s support for Montana’s groundbreaking legislation aimed at regulating the popular social media platform, TikTok. Tennessee has joined forces with a 19-state coalition, filing an amicus brief that throws its weight behind Montana’s law, which seeks to mandate TikTok’s divestiture from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to continue operating within the state.

General Skrmetti expressed his support, emphasizing the importance of protecting consumers and national security. “My office has been actively involved in litigation with TikTok here in Tennessee, addressing concerns over the platform’s impact on our children. It is imperative for TikTok to implement comprehensive safety measures if it wishes to retain its American user base,” Skrmetti stated.

The move comes in the wake of bipartisan federal legislation that mirrors Montana’s approach, signaling widespread concern across the political spectrum about TikTok’s operations and its affiliations with ByteDance. Notably, the federal bill sailed through the House Energy and Commerce Committee with unanimous support, underlining the urgency of addressing potential risks posed by TikTok to American users.

Montana’s legislation, however, aims not at an outright ban but at safeguarding the data and privacy of its residents by requiring TikTok to sever its ties with ByteDance. This approach has garnered attention for its focus on protecting individual privacy while addressing national security apprehensions linked to TikTok’s extensive connections to the Chinese government.

The coalition’s brief sheds light on TikTok’s immense popularity, particularly among U.S. teenagers, and its potential implications for mental health, citing the addictive nature of social media and its correlation with increased depression and anxiety rates. With TikTok being the second most downloaded app globally in the previous year, the coalition, including states from Alabama to Virginia, underscores the urgency of regulatory measures to mitigate these concerns.

This collaborative effort marks a significant stance against TikTok’s current operational model, pushing for changes that prioritize user safety and national security. As this legal battle unfolds, the spotlight remains on TikTok and its response to growing demands for transparency and reform in its business practices.

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