TikTok Also Banned by Some US Universities

Schools in Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma have made the app off limits on university computers and campus Wi-Fi, in compliance with state government bans.

David Lumb Mobile Reporter
David Lumb is a mobile reporter covering how on-the-go gadgets like phones, tablets and smartwatches change our lives. Over the last decade, he's reviewed phones for TechRadar as well as covered tech, gaming, and culture for Engadget, Popular Mechanics, NBC Asian America, Increment, Fast Company and others. As a true Californian, he lives for coffee, beaches and burritos.
Expertise smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, telecom industry, mobile semiconductors, mobile gaming
David Lumb
2 min read
TikTok logo on a phone screen
James Martin/CNET

After several US states moved to ban TikTok, some universities have followed suit, preventing access to the social media app on computers and Wi-Fi networks out of concern that the app reports user data to the Chinese government. 

Thus far, several universities in Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma have blocked the app on campus computers and internet networks, though students can still access it on their phones. The University of Oklahoma, Auburn University, and 26 public universities and colleges in Georgia have also reportedly been required to ban the app, according to Gizmodo, which earlier reported the news. 

These college campus bans seemingly or explicitly derive from state mandates to keep the app off state-owned devices. In an emailed statement, the University of Oklahoma cited an executive order from state Gov. Kevin Stitt as the reason for its ban, additionally noting that "university-administered TikTok accounts must be deleted" in favor of accounts on other social media platforms. At least three other colleges and universities in Oklahoma have followed suit, according to local news station KOCO.

TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter said the bans are based on "unfounded falsehoods" about the app and won't advance cybersecurity. Oberwetter also called the schools' policies "rushed" and said they'd have unintended consequences when it comes to recruiting students, sharing information and building various student communities.

Oberwetter added that the company is continuing to work with the US government to finalize a solution to secure TikTok's platform and satisfy state and national security concerns. 

Read more: TikTok Deal Faces More Delays Due to US Security Concerns