SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and State Superintendent Cade Brumley are the latest state leaders to ban TikTok on state-issued devices under their authority.
Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin shared a news release commending both leaders for following the lead of his office and banning the social media app.
“I am pleased that Governor Edwards and Superintendent Brumley are following the lead of the Department of State. Under my leadership, the department has prohibited access to the Chinese-owned TikTok app across all of our networks and devices,” Ardoin said. “We have a responsibility to protect our constituents’ data, which TikTok places at risk with its data mining and connections to the Chinese Communist Party. This app represents a clear threat to our privacy and national security.”
Ardoin said he would go further and work with Louisiana State Representative Daryl Deshotel on legislation to codify a state-wide TikTok ban on all devices issued to state employees.
Edwards, Brumley, and Ardoin join Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and other lawmakers and education leaders around the country who cite privacy concerns as reasons to ban the app.
Former President Donald Trump led an unsuccessful push to ban the app in 2020 through executive order requiring TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to take certain divestment measures.
Lawmakers fear that ByteDance will hand over US TikTok data or force them to manipulate the already highly-tailored algorithm to push divisive content to the Chinese Government.
In a statement to Nexstar in December, TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter said the company was disappointed by the kneejerk legislation.
“We’re disappointed that so many states are jumping on the bandwagon to enact policies based on unfounded, politically charged falsehoods about TikTok,” spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter told Nexstar in an emailed statement. “It is unfortunate that the many state agencies, offices, and universities on TikTok in those states will no longer be able to use it to build communities and connect with constituents.”