University of Florida Advises Students, Staff to Delete China’s TikTok
The University of Florida is telling its students and faculty to delete TikTok from their phones. On Thursday, Vice President Elias Eldayrie sent a letter announcing that the university has been keeping an eye on developments surrounding the app, particularly the increasing concerns over its security risks.
“Prominent experts continue highlighting TikTok as a national security concern, pointing to the possibility that foreign governments may use TikTok to control data collection, influence TikTok’s recommendation algorithm, and compromise personal devices.”
Eldayrie is, of course, referring to China, where TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is headquartered.
Eldayrie also suggested that the University of Florida will explore the possibility of implementing a ban through its IT network.
A 2022 study by Pew Research found that 67% of American teens use TikTok. 16% of all American teens say they use it “constantly.” The app has more than 138 million monthly active users.
The University of Florida is the latest in a growing push to ban the Chinese spyware platform. The University of Oklahoma and Auburn University have recently taken up similar positions, according to FOX 13 News. Nearly two dozen states, including Florida, have also implemented bans on TikTok for government devices. Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill last month that would prohibit TikTok and its parent company from operating in the United States.
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The threat of Chinese expansion has been a focus of Florida policy in recent weeks. In an interview with FOX, Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis characterized the app as “digital fentanyl.” Patronis stressed the importance of combating Chinese influence and criticized the Biden administration for failing to protect citizens.
“Their globalist policy is not like leaving a key under the mat for our enemies… they leave the whole damn house open!”
The White House has often recruited TikTok influencers to help spread their messaging to younger audiences. Last March, the White House even provided a briefing to influencers on the Ukraine war. There has been a minimal effort from the Biden administration to address national security threats posed by the app.
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