Some universities are now restricting TikTok access on campus


A modest but expanding selection of universities are now blocking accessibility to TikTok on university-owned units or WiFi networks, in the most up-to-date signal of a widening crackdown on the popular limited-kind movie app.

The College of Oklahoma and Auburn College in Alabama have each and every mentioned they will restrict scholar and college entry to TikTok, in purchase to comply with new moves from the governors in their respective states to ban TikTok on federal government-issued products. The 26 universities and schools in the University Process of Ga are also reportedly getting a similar phase.

“In compliance with the Governor’s Govt Buy 2022-33, powerful instantly, no college worker or pupil shall accessibility the TikTok application or web site on University-owned or operated gadgets, which include OU wired and wireless networks,” the University of Oklahoma mentioned in an e mail this 7 days.

According to the e-mail, the university will also involve that college-administered TikTok accounts be deleted and “alternate social media platforms utilized in their position.”

Additional than a dozen states, which include Maryland, South Dakota and Texas, have announced bans in current months of TikTok for condition workforce on federal government-issued units. The bans arrive as a increasing variety of lawmakers go on to scrutinize TikTok over doable nationwide security worries thanks to its ties to China by its father or mother enterprise, ByteDance.

The criticism ramped up previously this 12 months soon after a Buzzfeed Information report claimed some US user details has been frequently accessed from China, and cited just one employee who allegedly mentioned, “Everything is observed in China.” TikTok, for its part, has verified US person data can be accessed by some personnel in China.

“We’re let down that so quite a few states are leaping on the political bandwagon to enact guidelines that will do nothing to progress cybersecurity in their states and are based mostly on unfounded falsehoods about TikTok,” Jamal Brown, a spokesperson for TikTok, mentioned in a assertion presented to CNN on Thursday.

“We’re in particular sorry to see the unintended penalties of these rushed policies commencing to effects universities’ ability to share info, recruit college students, and construct communities close to athletic groups, student teams, campus publications, and additional,” Brown added.

Auburn College in Alabama began proscribing entry to TikTok on college-owned equipment or Wi-Fi networks final week, in accordance with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s current government purchase for point out-owned networks and equipment to block access to and from the TikTok social media software.

But an Auburn University spokesperson instructed CNN the conclusion is “not a ban on campus.” TikTok buyers will however be in a position to entry the application on own units by means of their personal mobile data.

Last week, a trio of lawmakers led by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill that aims to ban TikTok from functioning in the United States. In a statement announcing the proposed legislation, Rubio accused TikTok of amassing information to “manipulate feeds” and blasted the application as a “CCP [Chinese Communist Party]-puppet organization.”

TikTok has been negotiating for yrs with the US authorities on a probable deal that addresses nationwide security worries and allows the application carry on serving US clients. It has also taken techniques to isolate US user facts from other parts of its business.

In addition, TikTok faces scrutiny around it is strong algorithm which may lead end users, and in particular its youngest people, down regarding rabbit holes, which includes directing them to possibly dangerous topic make any difference this kind of as content all around suicide and having diseases.

TikTok has built a number of announcements in new yrs in an effort to relieve issues, which includes publishing resources to aid buyers customise articles suggestions, rolling out parental controls to give consumers far more options to prohibit what their young children can see on the application, and pledging a lot more transparency related to its information moderation systems for scientists.