TCC rolls out state-mandated TikTok ban

campus editor

TCC announced that TikTok will be banned from use on school-issued devices and Wi-Fi on Feb. 17. 

This restriction follows Greg Abbott’s mandate to ban the app on state-issued devices. Several universities and colleges have banned the app, including the University of Texas at Arlington and Texas A&M. 

TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and thus concerns about national security have arisen. The issue stems from apps such as TikTok collecting user data. But for NE student Julia MacLeod, she acknowledged that TikTok isn’t the only platform to do so.

“I think it’s an interesting decision because tons of things take our data all over the place,” MacLeod said. “It’s like this one thing that is taking away your data — Google does it all the time.”

In recent years, social media has been a tool for schools to garner attraction or alert students in the event of an emergency. TCC’s own Instagram account was used, among other alerts, to relay the school closures due to inclement weather. NE student Sam Knox finds the account helpful for receiving alerts on campus.

“I actually check there first before my email to see if campus is closed,” Knox said.

TCC has its own TikTok account, with the most recent post on Feb. 24, following seven days after the ban of the app on campus. The account’s page features posts about Welcome Week or events by Student Activities. Several other organizations on campus have a TikTok account. A bookstore employee who requested to remain anonymous believed that social media should be utilized as a tool for students.

“I think social media is the way to go,” the employee said. “If TCC actually implemented social media and got students involved, it will affect the enrollment here. I haven’t seen a school — TCC or any other school — yet use social media to the degree it can be used to draw students.”

MacLeod agreed that engagement with students can be increased through social media.

“If the school has a presence there then that kinda helps them — because I know I’m not going to check my emails first but I’m not that avid in social media,” MacLeod said. “But it’s a much quicker way than scrolling through all the emails you have.”

To some students such as Knox, the ban seemed unnecessary.

“I feel like most people are already not using TikTok on campus issued devices in general so I don’t really think it was necessary,” Knox said.

It is unclear if the ban will be lifted anytime soon, but the employee foresaw only one situation in which it may be removed.

“I think it’ll go away if they start seeing that it affects their enrollment — it has to hit the money,” the employee said.

Although the ban is meant to deter students from using TikTok, MacLeod pointed out the restriction can be bypassed if the user has mobile data. 

“It doesn’t take any hacking, it’s just if you have mobile data at all or a friend with mobile data,” MacLeod said. “And also you can just go to YouTube and watch TikTok compilations there.”