Popular video-sharing app, TikTok, banned across all University of Arkansas systems
Updated: May 3
TikTok has been banned from state owned networks and devices across the entire University of Arkansas (UA) System.
On Tuesday, January 24, UAFS Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration Carey Tucker released an email to students announcing that the popular social platform TikTok will be banned on university devices and wifi.
According to the email, this decision was made by the UA System President Dr. Don Bobbitt in accordance with Governor Sanders executive order from January 10. The order was introduced as a way of strengthening state entities from foreign bodies that could be mining data pulled from tracking TikTok users.
Governor Sanders' order states that “TikTok is owned by ByteDance LTD., a Chinese company with significant ties to the Chinese Communist Party.” It goes on to say that since TikTok has previously confirmed that employees can access user information of citizens in the United States, the social platform poses a threat to state issued devices and networks.
Vice Chancellor Tucker’s email affirms that on January 25, a firewall will be enabled prohibiting the access of TikTok. However, he reiterates that students may still access the app or site on personal wifi or cellular data.
While the privacy of students and faculty is a point of concern, the decision of this order is predicted to be a rather unpopular opinion amongst students. However, the University of Arkansas is not the first to enact such a ban. 25 states have also placed these state entity restrictions along with colleges like Auburn University, University of Texas - Austin, and Oklahoma State University.