EXPLAINER: Democratic governor of Kansas imposes TikTok ban

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has banned the usage of TikTok on the state’s units by authorities staff…

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly banned the usage of TikTok on the state units of presidency staff beneath her management on Wednesday, turning into one of many first Democratic governors to limit the favored social media platform.

Kelly’s motion got here 5 days after Congress handed the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending invoice that banned TikTok of most US authorities units for workers. Republican governors in no less than 15 states have already imposed such restrictions.

In Louisiana on Monday, the state’s administration commissioner – a Republican appointed by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards – banned the usage of TikTok on state networks beneath Edwards’ management, along with his approval. Additionally, Indiana’s GOP legal professional basic has sued the proprietor of TikTok. US armed forces have already banned the app on army units.

TikTok has turn into the world second hottest area and is consumed by two-thirds of American youngsters, a few of whom use it for fill gaps of their college classes. The availability within the congressional spending proposal mirrored bipartisan issues about safety and the unfold of misinformation as a result of Chinese language possession of this system.

This is a have a look at Kelly’s motion and the broader debate over TikTok:



Like Republican governors who’ve imposed comparable bans, Kelly cited issues about safety and the privateness of consumer knowledge.

Each the FBI and the Federal Communications Fee have warned that the info of TikTok customers may very well be shared by the proprietor ByteDance Ltd. with the authoritarian authorities of China. US officers are additionally involved that the Chinese language authorities may use TikTok to push pro-China narratives or disinformation.

There was additionally concern concerning the content material of TikTok and whether or not it harms the psychological well being of youngsters.

TikTok known as the congressional ban a “political gesture” that won’t defend nationwide safety.

However Kelly mentioned in a press release: “TikTok is mining consumer knowledge and probably making it obtainable to the Chinese language Communist Celebration.” Lawmakers mentioned that features looking historical past and placement.



In 2020, then-President Donald Trump and his administration tried prohibit companies with the proprietor of TikTok, drive it to promote its US property and take away it of app shops. Courts have blocked Trump’s efforts to ban TikTok, and President Joe Biden rescinded Trump’s orders after taking workplace however ordered a deep examine of the matter. A deliberate sale of TikTok’s US property has been shelved.

Nonetheless, concern about this system was bipartisan in Congress.

The Senate earlier this month permitted a model of the TikTok ban authored by conservative Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, a vocal critic of massive tech firms.

However Democratic U.S. Consultant Raja Krishnamoorthi, of Illinois, co-sponsored laws to ban TikTok from working within the U.S. altogether, and the measure permitted by Congress had the assist of Democratic U.S. Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi.



Kelly operates in a unique political context than many different Democratic governors. She is in a Republican-leaning state and has a conservative, GOP-led Legislature and Trump carried the state simply twice. She narrowly gained re-election in November presenting himself to average GOP and impartial voters as a middle-of-the-road drawback solver.

Kelly’s order applies to state government businesses, boards and commissions, however to not state universities, that are overseen by the Kansas Board of Regents. It additionally doesn’t apply to the Legislature or staff of different statewide elected officers, such because the legal professional basic or secretary of state. Kelly urged all of them to impose restrictions.

Kelly instructs authorities staff to take away the TikTok app from their authorities units. She ordered the state’s info know-how workplace to restrict the flexibility of staff to entry the TikTok web site on state-owned units.


Observe John Hanna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna

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