TikTok ban: censorship or protection


photo or infographic by Michael Scholwinski

TO PROTECT AND CENSOR. The ban of TikTok on University of Texas’s network may be closer to censorship than protection.

by Michael Scholwinski, VOW staff

On Jan. 18th, The University of Texas and other campuses were banning TikTok on their wifi, after the December 7th ban on government devices by Governor Greg Abbot. This sparked a conversation about censorship both on campus and in the general public. 

Complete banning might be extreme, but moderation for both the Texas government and the sites involved is needed to keep the peace for both.

UT banning TikTok on its site is practicing censorship and other campuses are following. The censorship of even something as trivial as TikTok spreads quickly and is censoring information and entertainment to college students. While it may seem not important to censor an entertainment site, it is necessary to get all information no matter how little or unnecessary it may seem. UT is also one of Texas’ most prestigious universities and many others are going to follow its lead on rules and how to follow, by discouraging and banning TikTok on wifi, it has already begun to spread to other campuses and its censorship. While UT is just following the ban from the Governor, it still has a duty to uphold non-censorship practices.

Governor Abbott’s ban on TikTok on government devices and the internet came from the belief that the site could potentially be involved with data sharing to the Chinese government. While that could be the case, it should not be necessary for complete banning of the site on college campuses or even government devices that are being used by officials. Stronger cybersecurity measures and looking into a vpn service could help alleviate concerns about the site’s issues. The complete censorship of TikTok amongst the government should not be as evident and by discouraging it and banning it on government devices and internet is not the solution to the problem.

Censorship in the form of complete banning of any site should not happen within both the government and college campuses. Allowing all sites on the government and school internet and making it possible to access this information and entertainment is important to keeping up the ability to see all sites and not allowing certain things to slip.