Monday, 06 Feb 2023

TechScape: Is banning TikTok protecting users or censorship? It depends who you ask

TechScape: Is banning TikTok protecting users or censorship? It depends who you ask


TechScape: Is banning TikTok protecting users or censorship? It depends who you ask

The US battle with TikTok over data privacy concerns and Chinese influence has been heating up for years, and recent measures have brought college campuses to the forefront - with a number of schools banning the app entirely on campus wifi. Students have responded, of course, on TikTok. Taking advantage of viral sounds, they have expressed outrage at their favourite app being blocked at universities like Auburn, Oklahoma and Texas A&M in the past few months. "Do they not realize people in college are actually adults?" one user wrote. "We should make our own independent decision to use TikTok or not," another said.

But how did we get here?

The actions come amid a cascade of TikTok bans by state and federal lawmakers in the US, who say the app's China-based parent company, ByteDance, could collect sensitive user data and censor content that goes against the demands of the Chinese Communist party.

TikTok was first targeted in earnest by the Trump administration in 2020, with a sweeping executive order prohibiting US companies from doing business with ByteDance. That measure was later revoked by Joe Biden in June 2021, but the company's problems were far from over. The current president stipulated that the US committee on foreign investment (CFIUS) conduct a security review of the platform and suggested a path forward to avoid a permanent ban. That review is ongoing, with no timeline released for a final decision.

Meanwhile, states have taken action of their own, with Congress passing a ban of TikTok on all federal devices in December and 31 individual states banning the app on government devices, most of which were passed in the last two months. Most of the campus bans have been carried out in states that have already passed their own rules against the app, but questions remain about how impactful such measures will be.

How does banning TikTok work?

Schools often block or regulate traffic to certain websites on campus wifi networks, including harmful content and pornography and such measures can extend to specific apps. Similar measures have been taken in the past like with controversial anonymous social media platform Yik Yak.

you may also like

US Virgin Islands Unveils Discounted Winter Air and Hotel Packages
  • by travelpulse
  • descember 09, 2016
US Virgin Islands Unveils Discounted Winter Air and Hotel Packages

The packages include $200 per person air credits and 10 percent discounts at select hotels.

read more