Auburn Bans TikTok, Student Body Mourns

Please, send your thoughts, prayers, and good vibes to the students of Auburn University, who are still reeling from the recent banning of TikTok.

Where then will they find videos of lip-syncing, dumb dances, and life hacks that aren't really life hacks?

The school banned the use of TikTok — which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance — from being accessed on school networks and devices. This follows a ban put in place by Alabama governor Kay Ivey that banned the popular social media platform on state-owned devices and internet networks.

19 states have put similar bans in place over concerns that TikTok presents a national security risk. They've taken action while the Biden administration is still negotiating with the company.

As is often the case for any banning, TikTok junkies found a pretty easy workaround. The app can still be accessed by switching to cellular data.

“Me and my friends have been talking about it ever since we first found out,” Elizabeth Hunt, an Auburn junior told The New York Times. “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.”

Yeah, that's a pain... or, you could just go do anything else.

Auburn Ban Highlights A Possible Nationwide TikTok Ban

The ban has had an impact on extracurricular activities. Sororities are unable to post videos to promote themselves. The campus television station says they'll start posting to Instagram reels instead of TikTok.

“From what I’ve heard and talking with my friends, I think we all have the same opinion that it just seems silly and not very warranted,” Hunt said. “While I do understand the concern around not knowing where your data is going, that’s not a TikTok-specific thing and all social media apps collect your data.”

That's true, but none of the other social media platforms have a direct link to the Chinese government the way TikTok does. Sure, who knows what Zuck does with our data? But the thing is we've got a pretty good idea of what TikTok is doing with it.

How good? There's a bipartisan bill was introduced last month to ban TikTok across the US. Bipartisan. Since when does that happen anymore?

And, if you don't think that kind of nationwide ban is doable in the United States it can. India did it in 2020.

“I really don’t think my generation, in particular, is going to really change the way we use the app,” Hunt said. “It’s so big at this point.”

It is, but if it's banned across the nation, your generation will adapt. Social platforms come and go. Just ask those who grew up on MySpace and Vine.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

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Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.