USF bans TikTok, other social media platforms on campus networks

The move comes as a means to protect Floridians from cybersecurity threats, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis. ORACLE PHOTO/JUSTIN SEECHARAN

USF banned the use of the popular social media platform TikTok on campus networks Wednesday afternoon, according to a universitywide email from Information Technology Communications. Tencent QQ, WeChat, Vkontakte and Kaspersky were also included in the ban. 

The social media ban follows the approval of an emergency regulation issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Board of Governors on March 28.

All five platforms will also be prohibited from being downloaded or used on university-owned devices, according to the email. 

The emergency bans were announced as the Digital Bill of Rights works its way through the state legislature. Any social media platform with relations to China on state government devices and on public schools and university campuses would be banned under the bill.

These measures are intended to protect Floridians’ personal data from being stolen and prevent cybersecurity threats, DeSantis said at a Feb. 15 news conference. 

This is a developing story. Stay with The Oracle for updates.