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VPNs, Verizon, and Instagram Reels: how students are getting around the TikTok ban

The University of Oklahoma blocked TikTok on its devices and networks in December 2022. | Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka / NurPhoto via Getty Images

When he first read the email announcing that public universities in Texas had been asked to ban the use of TikTok on their campuses, UT Dallas student Eric Aaberg feared the worst. As a full-time content creator with over 10,000 followers on the platform, the app was central to his life. Would he be forced to delete it? Would he be punished if he were caught using it?

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, are you serious?’” Aaberg recalls. “That’s so BS. There’s no way.”

Then he learned the reality. UTD was making TikTok inaccessible on its campus-provided networks. For him, that was the extent of the ban.

Aaberg immediately relaxed. “I was like, ‘Oh, that’s nothing,’” he says.

Texas is one of over thirty US states that have enacted restrictions…

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