The Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok has been banned by Congress on all federal government devices. Numerous government representatives have voiced concerns about national security issues because of TikTok’s Chinese ownership.
Legislators worry that TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, would provide the Chinese Communist Party with access to the information it gathers on its 100 million American users.
It is rumored that the Chinese could use the app to spread misinformation and propaganda.
The transfer of TikTok to a U.S. business was mandated by an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in 2020.
Trump left office before the final ruling leaving this to President Biden, who revoked the executive order signing his name and calling for better privacy.
Not only is the U.S. calling for the ban, but Canada is following suit.
Several nations have also prohibited the usage of TikTok in their territories, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Taiwan and India.
TikTok has been banned in K–12 schools by the Florida Senate Education Committee. The legislation mandate that schools teach children about social media safety in their curricula.
Anealya James, a fifth grader, says that she uses TikTok frequently but that the school’s internet browser does not support it.
“Since we are technically not allowed to use our phones, this isn’t as upsetting as it might appear,” James said.
TikTok is viewed as a security risk and a distraction, and colleges across the country are working to get rid of it on their campuses. The University of Mississippi is the latest large public university to ban the app from its WIFI network. The University of Oklahoma, Auburn University, universities in Georgia, and 26 public colleges and universities have also banned TikTok on their WiFi networks.
FAMU students have been discussing the possibility of losing TikTok on their campus and are not so happy about it. Many believe TikTok serves as educational purposes as well.
Terrell Jennings, a running back on FAMU’s football team, does not want the app to be banned, but he is all right with the restriction if there are genuine security concerns.
“I enjoy scrolling on TikTok between courses, and if it were taken away, I’d be quite bored,” Jennings said. “I do believe it is very educational due to the fact that every time I open the app, I learn new hacks, and I am kept informed of news happening throughout the nation.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is proposing to outlaw access to the platform for any devices provided by the government and networks that connect to them.