Dec 14, 2022 - Business

No TikTok ban in Ohio, bucking trend in GOP-led states

A phone displaying the logo of the TikTok app.

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ohio's public employees might want to enjoy TikTok memes while they still can.

Driving the news: A growing number of GOP-led states are banning the app on state-owned devices, Axios' Shawna Chen writes.

  • But Ohio is not yet one of them.

Why it matters: Leaders of these states say the move is necessary to ward off cybersecurity risks, as the video-sharing app is owned by Chinese company ByteDance.

Threat level: FBI director Chris Wray has warned that the Chinese government could use the app to access the data of American users.

The other side: A TikTok representative told our colleagues at Axios Salt Lake City these concerns are fueled by misinformation.

  • The platform says it does not store any U.S. user data in China.

What they're saying: A spokesperson for Gov. Mike DeWine tells Axios the state is "constantly evaluating security measures and policies," including those involving social media usage.

  • "Such reviews, including those of TikTok, are ongoing."

State of play: Ohio generally prohibits workers from using taxpayer-funded cell phones for personal reasons unrelated to official state business.

  • State agencies can also set more stringent policies for their employees.
  • For example, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction does not allow social media use on state devices unless for investigative purposes and enforces rules on digital conduct even for personal pages.

Zoom in: Several public entities, like the Ohio Department of Transportation, have official TikTok accounts.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Columbus.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Columbus stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Columbus.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more