Local parents, tech officials react to TikTok bans

Tech program director, coach more concerned of people on app than Chinese government

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — In just a six-day span, both Georgia and Tennessee have banned TikTok from all state government network devices.

This has led to some, once again, thinking over the controversies surrounding the app since it was launched.

TikTok is currently owned by the Chinese company, ByteDance.

According to CBS News, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said both the Chinese government and its Communist Party could potentially gain access to users’ personal information through the app.

A pair of local parents told me earlier while their data is always a concern, they still believe some who use the platform are a greater one.

Christina Finley and local artist, C-Grimey, work full-time for Tech Goes Home Tennessee — a digital literacy and skills training program for early childhood educators.

Both have had more than just a run-in with TikTok over their careers and have differently viewed banning the app.

“I think it’s probably a smart idea for government buildings and government entities,” said Finley, the program’s director. “I’m not super concerned about it as a citizen, but I think it’s probably a smart idea just to be on the safe side.”

“You want to be careful when it comes to sensitive information,” said C-Grimey, a tech coach and coordinator with the program. “But you don’t want to overreach, maybe hinder somebody’s personal entertainment or personal growth with how they use a specific platform.”

Both programmers love TikTok.

Finley enjoys watching entertaining videos on the platform, while C-Grimey uses it to promote his hip-hop career.

The latter says his concerns over personal information leaks are very real for both him and his teenage daughter.

“I’m always concerned about having my data tracked or my information breached or being hacked,” C-Grimey said. “[I’m] definitely concerned about that for my daughter — having her hacked, breached, and having her monitored in a negative manner.

Finley’s main concerns with the platform also surround her child, saying she does not allow her son to have a profile on the app.

“I do have a 12-year-old who does not have TikTok,” Finley said. “I am happy to show him things that I have found useful or educational. There are people and it’s people’s [job] to seek out children. It is my job to protect him for as long as I can.”

C-Grimey says it would be a shame to see entertaining, educational and inspiring content not impact a child.

Finley simply says, there’s always something else that can be shown to engage with one’s students.

News 12 asked the two what they would do if further banning the app ever interfered with content that could be shown on the platform in a classroom.

C-Grimey says it would be a shame to see entertaining, educational and inspiring content not impact a child.

Finley simply says, there’s always something else that can be shown to engage with one’s students.

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