TikTok's bans hit the platform's biggest fans : Young Americans and Young Students. Auburn University joins others with restrictions; students then find workarounds.

Destini Ambus, a senior at Auburn University in Alabama, was so surprised last month about a new ban of TikTok on state-owned devices and internet networks that she read the news alert about it aloud to her friends.

''We were like, 'Oh, that's weird, why would she do that.' and laughed it off and moved on,'' Ms. Ambus, 21, the editor in chief of the campus newspaper, said of the ban, which has been ordered by the state's governor, Kay Ivey.

''It didn't really occur to me when I saw the first email that it would be something impacts me directly.''

Unlike the general state bans, though, the college prohibition brings that geopolitical fight front and center for TikTok's biggest fans - young Americans and young students.

Two-thirds of teenagers in the United States use the app, making it second in popularity only to YouTube among that age group, according to Pew Research Center.

The ban has left students at Auburn surprised and bemused, they said in conversations with The New York Times, especially because they are still able to gain access to TikTok by switching to their data plans on their phones. Most seemed prepared to work around it. But there is also change underway :

The campus television station said it would probably delete its nascent TikTok account, for example.

''Me and my friends have been talking about it since we first found out,'' said Elizabeth Hunt, a 20-year-old Auburn junior from Bringham, Ala., who lives on a campus as a resident adviser. ''I am a little annoyed that now anytime I want to get on the app, I'm going to have to use data and find ways around it.''

Colleges in Idaho, including Boise State University and the University of Oklahoma recently said that TikTok was banned from their campus Wi-Fi networks. Some, like Idaho State University, went so far as to deactivate its official TikTok account.

And more changes could be ahead : Gov. Greg Gianforte of Montana asked the Montana University System to stop allowing TikTok on its network in a Jan, 3 letter, citing security risks.

In an email to students this month, just before Auburn's 25,000 students returned from winter break, the school reiterated its ban and its efforts ''to protect valuable information and to reduce the possible cybersecurity threats associated with using TikTok.''

But it also reminded students that they could still use the app on their personal or even Auburn-provided devices, as long as they're using their own cellular services. And the official Auburn Tigers TikTok account, which has 101,000 followers, remains active, though it has not posted since Dec. 2.

The Publishing continues. The World Students Society thanks author Sapna Maheshwari.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!