Oklahoma’s TikTok ban impacts students in communication fields

While the video-sharing app remains popular, TikTok is still barred from UCO’s WiFi and communication curriculums. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

This will be the first full semester taught at the University of Central Oklahoma since Gov. Kevin Stitt banned TikTok from state-owned devices and networks. 

The problem facing UCO students and professors involves not being able to teach or learn to use the most popular social media program for college students and an important tool for corporate and personal communication.

Strategic communications majors look for jobs in public relations or advertising, which extensively use TikTok to reach young consumers and clients.

Makayla Sweeny, a strat-comm major at UCO, said not being able to learn how to use TikTok as a resource for job hunting is negatively impacting her education.

“I don’t think it’s fair that the school I’m paying for is hindering my education because my professors can’t teach us how to use the app in a positive way in the work field.” Sweeny said. 

Professors at UCO are also upset that they are not allowed to teach their students how to use TikTok, but can teach about Facebook and Instagram.

Mike Breslin, an assistant professor of strategic communications at UCO, said it is a setback for the university.

“The university is really setting the students up for failure right now, because we as professors can’t teach them how to build a reel on TikTok…Even relationships with others through the app, which is what public relations is all about.” Breslin said. 

Professors are, however, teaching their students another way to create apps besides TikTok.

Many are showing students how to make a “reel” on Instagram, which has similar features to those found on TikTok.

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