TikTok no longer allowed on some Ky. state-issued devices

TikTok is no longer allowed on state-issued devices for those employed by the Executive branch.
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 7:14 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2023 at 9:21 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - TikTok is no longer allowed on state-issued devices for those employed by the Executive branch.

The Kentucky Personnel Employee handbook says that agencies and staff shall not “use an application or otherwise access the social media site owned by the Chinese company ByteDance Limited or its successors commonly known as ‘TikTok’ other than for a law enforcement purpose.”

A state government official said the change had been under consideration for several weeks and was based on recent federal legislation and information from federal law enforcement.

“Well, I think Governor Andy Beshear moved to issue this executive order for his executive division staff on Tik Tok is part of a trend that we’re seeing in HR departments and particularly government-oriented HR departments across the country,” said UK Associate Professor Kakie Urch.

There are also two twin bills that are under consideration in the general assembly, one in the Senate and one in the House. Senate Bill 20 and House Bill 124 are pushing for this same Tik Tok ban on all state-owned devices for everyone employed by the state, not just those employed by the executive branch.

“That’s a bill you might want to watch,” said Urch. “You know, legislatures are doing things that really affect us, so you might want to watch these Tik Tok bills to see if they are actually going to come and affect you rather than just governor beshear’s executive branch staff.”

However, these bills that have been filed in the legislature could have repercussions.

By banning Tik Tok from state devices, they do face the possibility of missing out on a massive influencer network of millions and millions of young people learning their news and information from Tik Tok,” said Urch. “And also there has been a number of studies where younger workers say they would not apply for a job if they knew that their social media were to be restricted in the course of that job.”

Officials say, regardless if you are a state employee or not, it’s important to stay aware of your employer’s social media policies and make sure to stay following them closely.