Due to potential cybersecurity risks, Mayor Eric Adams’ administration announced a ban on ByteDance-owned video app TikTok for all government-issued devices in New York City on Wednesday, following a number of federal agencies and other states.
New York City agencies have been ordered to remove the app within 30 days. In addition, employees will not be able to access TikTok, or the TikTok website, from city-owned devices and networks.
According to City Hall spokesperson Jonah Allon, the city's Cyber Command decided that TikTok “posed a security threat to the city's technical networks.”
“While social media is great at connecting New Yorkers with one another and the city, we have to ensure we are always using these platforms in a secure manner,” Allon added.
Across the country, government officials have been restricting access to the app due to beliefs that sensitive user data is accessible to China-based parent company ByteDance and the Chinese Communist Party. As of now, over 30 states have banned the app on state-issued devices.
In May, Montana went as far as banning the app for all state residents, though the decision is currently being challenged in court due to potential free speech violations.
As of Wednesday, the official TikTok page of the mayor, @NYCMayor, along with the city’s Department of Sanitation (which has 50,000 followers) and the Department of Parks and Recreation have new bios that read, “This account was operated by NYC until August 2023. It’s no longer monitored.”