- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 21, 2022

The University of Oklahoma is joining the growing list of governments and entities banning the use of TikTok over privacy and security concerns about the China-linked video-posting platform.

The decision was announced Tuesday in an email to students following Republican Gov. J. Kevin Stitt’s order banning TikTok on state phones and devices.

“Effective immediately, no university employee or student shall access the TikTok application or website on university-owned or operated devices, including OU wired and wireless networks,” David Horton, the university’s chief information officer and senior associate vice president, told students.

“As a result of the executive order, access to the TikTok platform will be blocked and cannot be accessed from the campus network,” the letter reads. “University-administered TikTok accounts must be deleted and alternate social media platforms utilized in their place.”

Fears that Americans’ data on TikTok is in jeopardy of falling prey to the Chinese government contributed to the Trump administration’s review of the platform and desire to restrict its operation in the U.S.

The Biden administration maintained the review while replacing an executive order seeking to restrict transactions with TikTok‘s parent company.

Congress’s new omnibus bill to fund government operations would prohibit TikTok on government devices, with exceptions for “law enforcement activities, national security interests and activities, and security researchers.”

TikTok will soon be BANNED on all government devices,” tweeted Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican and key champion of the ban.

Mr. Hawley has characterized the social media app, which many young people use to post dances and other content, as a Trojan horse for the communist Chinese government to collect data on Americans.

TikTok, which is owned by Bejing-based ByteDance, recently issued a statement to Fox News that criticized “politically motivated bans that will do nothing to advance the national security of the United States.”

Many states are taking action to remove the platform from state officials’ devices. Texas, Maryland and South Carolina are among those that imposed new restrictions on state officials’ use of TikTok this month.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem issued a similar order last month.

Ryan Lovelace contributed to this story.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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