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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt bans TikTok on state devices, networks

Solen Feyissa
Solen Feyissa
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Unsplash
Solen Feyissa

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has joined a number of his Republican colleagues in banning the social media app TikTok on state devices and networks.

Stitt issued an executive order blacklisting the social media application on government devices and networks.

In his order, Stitt writes TikTok’s broad data collection policies present a cybersecurity threat to the state.

A number of Republican Governors, including those in Maryland, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas, have made similar moves in banning the app, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.

The U.S. military has also prohibited the app on military devices.

“Maintaining the cybersecurity of state government is necessary to continue to serve and protect Oklahoma citizens and we will not participate in helping the Chinese Communist Party gain access to government information,” Stitt said in a news release about the order.

The social media application is incredibly popular and has more than 1 billion monthly users. Government agencies – including the White House – have been using it as an outreach tool, especially to reach younger people.

It remains to be seen how public college campuses will handle the ban. TikTok is often used by universities as a recruitment tool because of its popularity, and many students access the app using university-owned Internet networks while on campus.

Additionally, it’s unclear how the ban would affect the popular Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation TikTok account, which has garnered millions of impressions while promoting wildlife issues in the state. A message to the department about how it’s handling the ban was not immediately returned.

Robby Korth joined KOSU as its news director in November 2022.
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