Editor's note: This story was updated on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at 2:50 p.m. to include the total number of ASU-managed devices and brief list of other platforms the University will continue to use. This is still a developing story and may be updated again as more information becomes available.
TikTok will no longer be allowed to be used on ASU-managed devices, an ASU spokesperson confirmed Monday, as the University takes steps to comply with President Joe Biden's order for federal government contractors to stop using the social media app.
Early Monday, the University released a statement prematurely due to human error that said TikTok would not be allowed on the ASU network. Students will still be able to access the social media platform on their own devices while connected to an ASU network, as ASU-managed devices are the only ones impacted, a spokesperson said.
ASU-managed devices include laptops, desktop computers and other devices loaned out to students and around campus in buildings and libraries. According to a University spokesperson, there are about 40,000 ASU-managed devices across the University.
ASU will discontinue the use of official University accounts on TikTok, but the restriction does not impact student-run accounts for student organizations and clubs. A spokesperson for the Arizona Board of Regents referred reporters to ASU for comment. ASU, NAU and UA all have accounts on TikTok. According to Arizona Republic higher education reporter Sasha Hupka, NAU and UA have complied with the order.
TikTok administrators within the University received information from the school's enterprise brand strategy and management Monday that said on March 27, the ASU flagship brand account would be deactivated, and ASU TikTok accounts should retire by April 3.
The University manages an Instagram account, the Instagram reels feature having similar content to TikTok, an ASU spokesperson said. The University also have Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The memorandum issued Feb. 27 requires the removal of TikTok from federal information technology. The memorandum says that in no later than 30 days, agencies will need to identify the use or presence of the app, remove and disallow installation of the app, and prohibit internet traffic from federal devices to TikTok.
In recent months, federal and state lawmakers have attempted to restrict access to TikTok, the short-form video app owned by a Chinese company, citing security threats. Lawmakers have continuously said the app's parent company, ByteDance, puts users' data, including location, in the hands of the Chinese government.
In a March 6 White House press briefing from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, she said the Biden administration has been clear on concerns with apps like TikTok, especially as the Committee on Foreign Investment investigation into the social media app continues.
"We know certain countries, including China, seek to leverage digital technologies and Americans' data in ways that can present national security risks," she said at the press briefing.
While TikTok has been a focus of the conversation around data privacy since the pandemic, other social media companies like Meta, which operates Facebook and Instagram, have been at the center of similar controversies. Founder, chairman and CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerburg, faced a grilling by U.S. Congress on that topic in 2018 on Capitol Hill.
In the Arizona State Legislature, House Bill 2416 has a strike everything amendment that targets any "social networking service" developed or provided by a Chinese internet technology company founded in March 2012. The bill does not specifically name TikTok, but ByteDance was launched in March 2012.
Parts of the amendment, proposed by Rep. Matt Gress, R-Phoenix, would require Arizona to remove the app from state technology and ban state employees from conducting state business on personal electronic devices that have the app.
There are exemptions in the bill and in the memorandum for law enforcement's use in investigations or emergencies, but lawmakers hope government agencies will not use TikTok.
Politics editor Shane Brennan and politics reporter Grey Gartin contributed to the reporting of this story.
Edited by Shane Brennan, Reagan Priest and Greta Forslund.
Piper Hansen is the digital editor-in-chief at The State Press, overseeing all digital content. Joining SP in Spring 2020, she has covered student government, housing and COVID-19. She has previously written about state politics for The Arizona Republic and the Arizona Capitol Times and covers social justice for Cronkite News.