Concerned that the social media app sends user data to the Chinese government, numerous US states have sought to ban TikTok, prompting other institutions to do the same.
Although the software is still accessible on students’ personal devices, numerous institutions in the states of Alabama, Georgia, and Oklahoma have banned it from campus computers and internet networks. Gizmodo first reported that the app has been banned at the University of Oklahoma, Auburn University, and 26 public institutions and colleges in Georgia.
State restrictions to keep the software off state-owned smartphones appear to be the root cause of these campus-wide prohibitions. The University of Oklahoma explained its ban on TikTok in an email, citing an executive order from Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and stating that “university-administered TikTok accounts must be erased” in favour of other social media sites. KOCO, a local news station in Oklahoma, reports that at least three other universities in the state have done the same.
A representative for TikTok, Brooke Oberwetter, has stated that these bans do not help with cybersecurity and are based on “unfounded assertions” about the programme. According to Oberwetter, the schools’ rules were hurried and will have unanticipated repercussions for things like student recruitment, information exchange, and the development of diverse student communities.
According to Oberwetter, the business is still working with the United States government to find a definitive solution to securing the TikTok platform in a way that satisfies state and national security concerns.
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