Students react to proposed TikTok ban

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Students at schools across Tennessee may soon not be able to access TikTok on a school’s WiFi.

This comes as federal legislators have unveiled legislation that could be used to ban the increasingly popular social media platform.

Emily Foster, a student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), said of the ban, “I mean I don’t really feel like it’s necessary, students are going to watch TikTok no matter what.”

Another UTC student Jackson Baker, said, “I personally love TikTok and if it gets banned, I’ll be hurting for sure.”

Tennessee House Bill 1445 aims to prohibit colleges from letting anyone on campus internet access any social media platforms that are headquartered in China.

The bill was amended from its original state where it banned all social media headquartered outside of the United States.

TikTok is the primary social media used in America from China, as TikTok says it has over a billion users globally.

Many TikTok users in America are of Generation Z, the generation who is most likely to use this app on campus WiFi.

UTC student Austin Roller said, “I think that’s a horrible idea. First off, college students love TikTok, a lot of great content on there, but also if you’re worried about the servers getting hacked into, get better servers.”

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said in a statement that his office believes TikTok is violating state consumer protections law by targeting their app to youth, and he believes the app negatively impacting their mental health.

TikTok is also receiving criticism at a federal level, as a new piece of bipartisan legislation called the RESTRICT Act was filed yesterday.

Virginia Senator Mark Warner believes TikTok could be used as spyware by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is headquartered in Beijing.

UTC student Collin Thompson said,”Any type of ban on social media is also kind of interesting to look at. I think since recent things have been happening, figuring out Chinese spyware, stuff like that, I think TikTok being owned by a Chinese company, which is usually owned by the CCP, I usually don’t like that.”

There are concerns among students that it could stifle their free speech.

Foster said, “Yeah, but we’re college students, like, let us do what we want. We won’t bother you.”

Thompson added, “Any type of suppression or any type of social media being shut down, or any type of people using it, definitely is a violation of First Amendment Rights, but when it is not owned by an American I understand why stuff would be shut down.”

The bill has to be passed in the House before it heads to Governor Bill Lee’s desk.

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(Courtesy: MGN)

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