One of the first states to ban the Chinese social media platform TikTok from being used on campus wireless networks was Texas, but other states are following suit either through executive orders, agency directives, or legislative action directed to universities, state government employees, or the general public.
Texas announced an executive order to state agencies to ban employees from using or downloading the app on devices issued by the government, such as desktop computers, laptops, and cellphones. Public universities in Texas followed the directive and banned use on campus wireless networks.
Here is a list of other states that have followed Texas’s lead:
- Montana’s House of Representatives passed a bill that makes it illegal to download TikTok in Montana and the ban would not start until January 2024. The bill would fine up to $10,000 a day for an entity that would make the app available.
- Florida’s public universities, like University of Florida, banned TikTok’s use on institution-issued devices and campus wireless networks.
- Arizona banned the social media app from its government-issued devices based on guidance from Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs and state attorney general Kris Mayes.
- North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum issued an executive order similar to Texas, where the state’s executive branch employees are prohibited from using the app on government-issued devices.
The argument for banning TikTok is that the app’s parent company, ByteDance, has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party. ByteDance has not documented how or where it stores user information, has not explained how its algorithms work or whether the Chinese Communist Party has direct access to TikTok user’s data. It must be a significant national security issue, according to TikTok’s critics, because the U.S. federal government banned TikTok use for federal employees.