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OU blocks TikTok on university-owned devices, network

Bizzell Memorial Library

The Bizzell Memorial Library on Nov 16, 2022.

OU blocked university employees and students from accessing TikTok with university-owned or operated devices in compliance with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s Executive Order 2022-33 on Tuesday.

Stitt signed Executive Order 2022-33 on Dec. 8, blocking executive branch employees and agencies from downloading and using TikTok on government-issued devices. The executive order also demanded that TikTok be blacklisted from state networks and state-managed devices.

According to the executive order, no person or entity contracting with the state shall download or use TikTok on government networks or other state-owned or state-leased equipment.

An email from David Horton, OU Information Technology's chief information officer and senior associate vice president, reads the TikTok application or website will no longer be accessible from OU wired and wireless networks. 

Additionally, university-administered TikTok accounts must be deleted and replaced with alternate social media platforms.

The executive order claims that ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, may gain control of user information stored on mobile devices through TikTok’s data collection policies

“The Chinese Communist Party (“CCP”) may attain this personal information because ByteDance is headquartered in China and Chinese national security laws compel companies operating in China to share their data with the government upon request,” the executive order reads.

In September, ByteDance declined to commit to U.S. lawmakers that TikTok would cut off flows of U.S. user data to China. 

In 2020, the U.S. military and the Transportation Security Administration blocked its members from using TikTok regarding similar concerns cited in Stitt’s executive order. 

OU’s updated TikTok policy in compliance with the executive order is effective immediately.

news managing editor

Alexia Aston is a journalism junior and the news managing editor at the Daily. She started at the Daily in the fall of 2020 and has previously served as a news reporter, senior news reporter and news editor. She is originally from Clinton, Oklahoma.

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