Ban on TikTok wave


Josie Robertson, Photo Editor

Many universities in the United States have recently and controversially decided to ban the popular video-creating app TikTok. With over a billion users, Tiktok is the fourth most popular social media app nationally. Its appeal comes from users’ ability to endlessly scroll, consuming videos that span all genres: dancing, cooking, humor, educational, you name it. 

Some concerns over the app’s safety are due to the possible security risks TikTok poses because of its China-based head company, ByteDance. Recently, President Joe Biden signed a law that prohibits the use of TikTok on government issue devices.

Despite its massive prevalence in the daily lives of teenagers, as concluded by countless studies, social media can be detrimental to one’s mental health. While connecting with others has benefits, social media can lead to anxiety and depression. Senior Henry Sklar, an avid influencer, said TikTok can have both a positive and negative impact. Sophomore Morgan Coleman agrees that TikTok can be detrimental. “It causes me to procrastinate a lot,” she said.

On December 12th, 2022, Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey issued an executive order banning TikTok on state-issued electronics and networks.

Auburn University, to its students’ surprise, also decided to ban TikTok on their internet networks. In a New York Times article, writer Sapna Maheshwari noted Auburn wants to “protect valuable information and reduce the possible cybersecurity threats associated with using TikTok.” 

Even before Kay Ivey’s decision, Homewood City Schools did not allow TikTok on the district’s network. Homewood’s City Schools Director of Communications, Merrick Wilson, said, “School systems are bound by student privacy and protection laws (COPPA and CIPA), and we keep many social media services blocked for that reason.” She added that Homewood also tries to block sites that provide no educational value or distract students from learning.