TikTok, WeChat apps no longer permitted on university networks or devices effective July 1
New Virginia law prohibits access to these apps on state-owned or managed resources.
From: Division of Information Technology and Communications and Marketing
Effective July 1, 2023, use of TikTok, WeChat, and other products from ByteDance, Ltd. or Tencent Holdings, Ltd. will not be permitted on Virginia Tech networks or on university-issued devices.
The university is taking this measure to comply with a new Virginia law which prohibits access to and use of apps or websites from the above entities on state-issued devices or on state-maintained networks. The Virginia General Assembly passed this law earlier in 2023, and the bill was signed by the governor in April. The restriction takes effect on July 1, 2023.
Restrictions set forth in the new law will impact the university community the following ways:
- Beginning July 1, access to these apps and websites will be restricted on all Virginia Tech and state-managed networks, including eduroam at Virginia Tech.
- TikTok, WeChat, etc. may not be used on any university-issued device, regardless of what network is being used at the time. Apps should be deleted from university-issued devices.
- Virginia Tech-sponsored TikTok accounts, such as those administered by colleges and departments, may not be used in any manner after July 1, 2023. Social media managers are advised not to delete accounts, but simply to stop using them - this will protect the accounts from being spoofed in the future.
The new law does not restrict use of TikTok, WeChat, or any ByteDance or Tencent product on personally owned devices when connected to networks that are not maintained by state agencies including Virginia Tech. Users may still use TikTok for non-university use on personal phones or computers when connected through a personal cellular data plan, a home Wi-Fi network, or another privately managed network.
Employees and students who violate these new restrictions will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, as stipulated in Virginia Tech’s Policy 7000: Acceptable Use and Administration of Computer and Communication Systems.
More information and answers to frequently asked questions about these state-mandated app and website restrictions may be found at it.vt.edu/app-restrictions.
- Restrictions on applications (TikTok, WeChat, etc.) at Virginia Tech
- SB 1459: Administration of state government; prohibited applications and websites (contains links to full-text versions of the new law and its legislative history)
- Policy 7000: Acceptable Use and Administration of Computer and Communication Systems
- Policy 1030: Social Media Policy