College bans TikTok app

Trennt Rhea, Photo Editor

Dallas College announced a collegewide ban on TikTok in an email to all employees on Feb. 13, with another email sent to students on Feb. 14.

Students, staff and faculty who attempt to access TikTok through the college’s network will now find the app unusable and the website inaccessible. On Dec. 7, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order for all state agencies, including institutions of higher education, to ban the video-sharing application from state-owned and issued devices and networks, according to the email.

Following guidelines by the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Department of Information Resources, Dallas College announced four preliminary steps to comply with the governor’s order by Feb. 15.

All employees were required to cease use of TikTok on any college-issued devices, cease posting on TikTok accounts sponsored by the college, refrain from downloading the app to college devices and remove all links to TikTok from college-sponsored web pages.

TikTok is a popular app among teens and young adults. According to Pew Research Center, 48% of people who use TikTok are 18-29 year olds.

Mekhi Johnson, a dual credit student, said the ban hurt his feelings. “I use TikTok whenever I’m bored and I’m bored a lot. It’s my favorite app,” Johnson said. “It is very much an inconvenience.” Johnson said he will now have to use his cellular data, something which he prefers not to do.

Rene Lopez, a Brookhaven student, had a different take. “I would just use my data,” Lopez said. “I don’t really connect to the school’s Wi-Fi in the first place. The ban doesn’t really affect me.”

According to the email, the college will develop a plan to meet other objectives required by the state. These include banning and preventing the download or use of prohibited technologies on any college-issued device and prohibiting employees and contractors from conducting college business on prohibited technology-enabled personal devices.

Sensitive locations, meetings or personnel within the college that could be exposed to prohibited technology-enabled personal devices will be identified. Any apps, services, hardware and software that pose a threat to the college’s sensitive information and critical infrastructure will be added into this plan as needed.