The days of a popular social media app have come to an end on the FGCU campus.
TikTok, along with four other websites and apps for FGCU students or staff, will no longer be accessible on university devices or networks.
Students are predictably unhappy and don’t like the change. But they also know they can bypass university restrictions.
FGCU and other public universities will not allow access to TikTok on university devices or their networks.
“When I wake up, when I go to bed, when I just eat alone. I’m just scrolling through the app,” said FGCU newbie Cassidy.
For others, however, TikTok is a source of income.
“I know friends who like modeling agencies on TikTok and make their own products,” said FGCU newcomer William Figueroa.
However, FGCU and seven other Florida public universities have limited on-campus access to the popular app and a few others.
“I just find it kind of weird,” said FGCU student Alex Kilker.
The reason the apps were banned is safety concerns for students and staff.
“I really don’t know what they’re protecting us from,” Cassidy said.
“I think part of that is how there have been other security breaches in a number of different industries over the past few years,” said Dr. Chrissanne Ruehle.
dr Ruehle, an artificial intelligence ethics expert, told WINK News that the apps are fairly safe. But, to further explain that the Florida Board of Governors claims TikTok poses a threat to national and state cybersecurity because a Chinese tech company owns the app.
“They are actually using a Cloud-A system provided by Oracle, a US-based company, and the people tasked with managing and protecting the data are all US citizens. So for the benefit or benefit of Tiktoks, I think they actually have some really good security protocols,” said Dr. Ruehle.
She thinks TikTok is unfairly targeted. FGCU students can continue to use the app as long as it is not on a personal device and using personally identifiable information.
“There are ways around it. There are loopholes, but just the fact that they really wanted to do that pisses me and my friends off too,” said FGCU newcomer William Figueroa.
The TikTok ban isn’t just happening in Florida. The Biden administration has urged Chinese owners to sell their stakes in the social media platform or risk a ban on the app in the US.