Time is Running Out for TikTok


Screenshot of TikTok homepage

There are concerns that the University of North Georgia will prohibit the use of TikTok on campus devices in the near future.

This correlates with a national push for the banning of TikTok. Auburn University has recently banned the app from university devices as well as accessing via Wi-Fi. As of Jan. 16, there have been 24 states that have banned the app from state-owned devices and servers. The banning comes from a concern over national security, as the company that owns it, ByteDance, has been accused of spying on the U.S. through the app. 

Gov. Brian Kemp’s memo to Georgia State Agencies

“Accordingly, effective immediately every executive branch agency, department, division, bureau, board, authority, and commission in Georgia shall prohibit the use of TikTok, WeChat, and Telegram on all systems and devices that are issued, owned, or otherwise controlled by the state or used for state business.” – Governor Brian Kemp

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp directly mentions the Chinese government in his Dec. 15 memo outlining the banning of TikTok on state-controlled devices. Gov. Kemp stated, “The TikTok software platform has the capability to track and store its users’ highly detailed public and nonpublic personal information, and the Chinese government is able to access this information under national security laws that require Chinese companies to assist China in intelligence work through data sharing and other means.”

Furthermore, Kemp also banned WeChat and Telegram on all devices that the state has control over. The policy will be enforced through the use of the Georgia Technology Authority.

University of North Georgia professors have already noticed the potential for banning. Samantha Peko, a journalism professor on the Gainesville Campus, has used TikTok in her class before to show how major news companies will utilize the app in order to share the news. The studying of TikTok will become more difficult should the university implement this policy. Peko stated, “I refer sometimes to TikTok and how journalists use TikTok and I think it’s unfortunate that I will not be able to do that anymore soon. I would use TikTok for educational purposes but it seems I won’t be able to that anymore.”

Students seem to be worried as well. “Yeah I’m a little worried it being banned on school devices and even more so with Wi-Fi. If they ban it on Wi-Fi then that would force a lot of us to use only cell service to use TikTok,” said Jackson Clayton, a student living in the dorms on the Dahlonega campus.

The University of North Georgia’s Head of IT as well as the Dean of Students did not reply for a comment.