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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT… WJXT: ‘Digital fentanyl’: CFO Jimmy Patronis calls for TikTok ban at Florida universities


“‘Digital fentanyl’: CFO Jimmy Patronis calls for TikTok ban at Florida universities”

Kent Justice, WJXT

January 24, 2023

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The battle against TikTok continues as federal lawmakers introduce legislation that would ban the social media app in the United States.

Florida leaders are involved, including Gov. Ron DeSantis. On Tuesday, I spoke with Jimmy Patronis, the state’s chief financial officer, about the risks he sees with the social media app — and why he wants colleges to jump on board and ban the app.

The social media craze has been a national security controversy for some time.

“I don’t see any need of taking the risk of allowing a foreign government to have electronic espionage in our state government,” Patronis told me.

In 2020, he banned the app on any state devices. He’s against TikTok for at least a couple of reasons.

“I’ll look at it with our kids. I’ve seen my niece on TikTok. She will let her phone go dead and then she’ll plug it up and continue using it. That’s why I call it ‘digital fentanyl.’ It is highly addictive, and I think it’s just a destructive distraction,” Patronis said.

It’s something Patronis seems to agree with. He wants Florida universities to ban use of the app.

“Say if you’re at the University of Florida, and it’s got its open Wi-Fi network, you won’t be able to access TikTok from that Wi-Fi network,” Patronis said. “You’re plugged into their ethernet, you won’t be able to access it.”




About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).

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