Morgan restricts access to TikTok on campus. What this means for the school community.

The university is prohibiting the use of TikTok and several other platforms on Morgan-owned devices and Wifi networks.


Spokesman Staff

TikTok, WeChat, AliPlay, Kaspersky, Tencent QQ and QQ wallet are now prohibited from the university’s wifi network.

Jordynn Blackwell, Staff Writer

After several governors issued restrictions for the use of TikTok on government networks, more than a handful of public universities have followed suit, including Morgan State University. 

An email from Morgan’s Division of Information Technology notified the school community that certain platforms and products are now prohibited on Morgan-owned devices and Wifi networks, leading with one of the most popular social media platforms, TikTok.

WeChat, AliPlay, Kaspersky, Tencent QQ and QQ wallet are prohibited from the university’s network as well. The measures taken are in response to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s emergency cybersecurity directive, which addresses the growing concerns regarding TikTok’s parent company Bytedance.

“There may be no greater threat to our personal safety and our national security than the cyber vulnerabilities that support our daily lives,” Hogan said in a statement. 

The directive prevents the use of certain Chinese and Russian-influenced platforms for the executive branch of state government in effort to lower any cybersecurity risks to the state of Maryland.

“As the cyber capital of America, Maryland has taken bold and decisive actions to prepare for and address cybersecurity threats. To further protect our systems, we are issuing this emergency directive against foreign actors and organizations that seek to weaken and divide us.”

States and universities across the nation are taking swift action against TikTok’s safety concerns. Big name institutions such as Auburn University and University of Oklahoma have also made an effort in cyber safety against the popular short-video platform.

Morgan is obliged to follow Hogan’s statewide directive, Dell Jackson, director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, said in an email to The Spokesman.

“TikTok, along with the other digital products and platforms cited in the State issued directive, has been deemed to be a cybersecurity risk,” Jackson said. 

“Protecting our infrastructure and the campus community against potential digital breaches and vulnerabilities is paramount. Morgan is not alone in this effort, as all state agencies and the more than 50 Maryland public colleges and universities are enforcing the cybersecurity safeguard,” Jackson said.

Since the announcement of the TikTok ban, the reaction from Morgan students has been a mix of confusion and annoyance. 

“I was a bit upset [about the TikTok ban] because I use it a lot for educational purposes,” freshman biology major Camille Trapp said. “However, I understand that Morgan is trying to create a safer environment. I don’t really think that it will affect me that much and I will also become more productive because I have spent hours on TikTok without realizing it rather than doing something more beneficial.”

For those who would like to continue to use the TikTok application while on campus, university officials advise to access it on a non-university cellular network or personal data plan.

The ban will apply to both the MSU-Secure and MSU-Guest WiFi networks.