Students and faculty will not be able to access the popular social media app while connected to university internet servers. It’s the latest step to limit access to the service after Gov. Greg Abbott directed state agencies to ban the app on government-issued devices citing cybersecurity risks.
My thoughts: You’re going to start seeing this in more and more state & federal spaces. As of now, 19 states have blocked or limited access to ByteDance’s TikTok platform on state devices, and/or networks. That, obviously, includes state universities. Plus, JRB signed a spending package that (for some performative reason) included restricting TikTok access from federal devices.
Gen Z says it values TikTok more than any other social media platform, in fact when surveyed they said they value it individually more than ALL OTHER media properties COMBINED.
That’s a lot of value in one platform.
Obviously, the point of these pieces of legislation is not to punish or target students. It’s a shot over the bow at the Chinese government.
ByteDance employees have reportedly used the platform to track journalists. While it easily could (and clearly has been) used as a surveillance tool, it’s greater power is in putting a thumb on the scale on foreign cultural & political sentiments. (See: Radio Free Europe)
While restricting its access to state & federal devices, networks, and servers could limit security risks, there’s a larger conversation to be had here about the role of such an important and influential media property. (See: Facebook post-2016 election)