by Alexa Schwerha
Several universities across the country have banned TikTok from campus-owned devices or wifi after their prospective states approved similar bans throughout the month.
Sixteen states have banned TikTok, a Chinese-owned company and alleged national security threat, from being used on state-owned devices, according to Government Technology. Four states have banned the app on “some” state-owned devices, while Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita of Indiana filed a lawsuit against the company for allegedly making false claims about its content.
The states which have banned TikTok include Utah, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and New Hampshire.
Langston University, located in Oklahoma, became the latest college to ban the app on all university-owned devices on Dec. 22, KOCO reported. Langston, which is a public university, claimed it was required to implement the ban to comply with Republican Governor Kevin Stitt’s executive order.
However, the University of Oklahoma (UO) told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a prepared statement that the executive order does not apply to public universities “[g]iven recent clarification from the Governor’s Office.”
Still, UO said that it would “undertake a review of the security concerns that TikTok may pose to our network systems while giving consideration to how a ban would impact [the] university community.” OU announced earlier this week that it would ban TikTok from all university-owned devices as well as require all university TikTok accounts to be deleted and replaced on other social media platforms.
Auburn University (AU), located in Alabama, banned TikTok on all school devices and servers, Insider reported. AU’s TikTok account is still active and has 16,000 followers, however it has not posted any new content since Dec. 7.
“In accordance with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s recent executive order requiring all state-owned networks and devices to block access to and from the TikTok social media application, Auburn University’s Office of Information Technology began blocking TikTok on campus via wi-fi access on Dec. 13,” the university wrote in a statement shared with the DCNF. “Efforts are underway to remove TikTok from all state-owned devices provided by Auburn. Note also that the new policy recommends removing TikTok from personal devices to protect a person’s privacy there as well. The governor’s order addresses the growing risk of intrusive social media applications harvesting data totally unrelated to business use of the platform.”
Additionally, the University System of Georgia, which includes 26 public colleges in the state, also issued a ban on the app.
“The University System of Georgia appreciates the governor’s directive and, similarly to other state agencies, has directed its 26 public colleges and universities to prohibit the use of TikTok, WeChat and Telegram on any state-owned devices including mobile phones and laptops,” Asstistant Vice Chancellor for Leadership Communications Kristina Torres told the DCNF.
The platforms will only be accessible on university-owned devices for law enforcement and security concerns, Chancellor Sonny Perdue said in a memo, according to The Associated Press.
Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri’s bill to ban TikTok from government-owned devices cleared the Senate unanimously on Dec. 14.
Rokita, Stitt, Langston University, Perdue and Hawley did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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Alexa Schwerha is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.