What’s next after Gov. Noem’s TikTok ban
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Governor Kristi Noem’s decision to ban the use of TikTok on state devices is already having an effect on how South Dakota markets itself. For other organizations that use the app, like state universities, changes could be coming to comply with the order.
Governor Noem’s order comes as the controversy about how much information the app collects is shared with the Chinese government continues. Speaking in reference to the executive order, Governor Noem cited the direct access that the Chinese Communist Party has to information shared with the app as a reason for her order. She goes onto say other states, as well as Congress should do the same.
“South Dakota will have no part in the intelligence gathering operations of nations who hate us. The Chinese Communist Party uses information that it gathers on TikTok to manipulate the American people, and they gather data off the devices that access the platform.
Because of our serious duty to protect the private data of South Dakota citizens, we must take this action immediately. I hope other states will follow South Dakota’s lead, and Congress should take broader action, as well.”
The order bans state employees or agencies from downloading and using the app or the visiting the TikTok website on government-issued devices, including state-issued cell phones, laptops, or any device capable of connecting to the internet. The move was praised by Representative Dusty Johnson, calling China and TikTok a quote “real threat to national security.” Johnson currently has legislation in the United State House that would enact similar measures at the federal level.
The ban is already having an effect. The South Dakota Department of Tourism has deleted it’s TikTok account to comply with the order. In a statement to Dakota News Now, the department said it still has an endless supply of other tools and resources to reach others and tell South Dakota’s story, and that it’s active on other social media platforms that can reach the same audience.
“We have removed our TikTok account pursuant to the Governor’s executive order and stopped all TikTok advertising. We have an endless supply of other safe tools and productive resources to reach consumers to tell South Dakota’s story. We are active on other social media platforms and will make use of various short form video options that can reach the same audience.” Global Media & Public Relations Director Katlyn Svendsen said.
But a question that’s left is what to do with the TikTok accounts used by South Dakota’s public universities. As of Wednesday evening, all university accounts were still active.
The South Dakota Board of Regents is considering the issue. Director of Communications Shuree Mortenson said in a statement that the board is currently working through the Governor’s executive order, and it’s implications for it’s campuses.
“The South Dakota Board of Regents is currently working through Governor Noem’s Executive Order 2022-10 and its implications for our campuses. Cybersecurity is of critical importance and requires continuous assessment and response to potential vulnerabilities, such as TikTok. The Board is scheduled to convene next week for their December meeting and will undoubtedly address this topic at that time.” Mortenson said.
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