TikTok famous Lawtonian may lose chances to minister if app banned

Maurice Dowell (TikTok)
Maurice Dowell (TikTok)(Maurice Dowell(TikTok))
Updated: Jul. 16, 2020 at 10:01 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Some people tend to have that gravitational pull. For Maurice Dowell, he can “care for someone too much,” but it’s that charm and care that has helped him find success on one of the most popular apps today.

What is TikTok?

“TikTok is an app where you can create short videos from 15 seconds to 60 seconds of you just being yourself,” said Dowell. “Whether you dance, you speak life into people, you can do that in a video from 15 to 60 seconds she posted and anyone in the world can see it and it’s an amazing app.”

Dowell started using TikTok in 2018 to minister to people and share positivity — and it worked. The born and raised Lawtonian has racked up over 3 million followers so far, with some of his videos reaching over 21 million people, but he doesn’t take credit for any of it.

“It’s my purpose is to inspire people, care for people and just love people back to life, so people say I’m Tick Tock famous, I give all glory to God,” said Dowell.

Dowell may be giving God all the credit, but people in his comments keep thanking him.

“Someone just said you just turned an atheist to a believer. My life is so much better now. If you don’t think that’s a place to praise the lord right there!” said Dowell.

While TikTok can be a place for fellowship, an expert from the University of Oklahoma said it can be a risk for people who work at Fort Sill or in any Government job because TikTok’s parent company is a Chinese company.

Dr. Mark Raymond, the director of the Cyber Governance and Policy Center at the University of Oklahoma and an associate professor of international security, said hypothetically, the Chinese Government could require TikTok to hand over American user information. So what’s the big deal if the Chinese get American data?

“Once you know what kind of hardware and software someone is using, you know, what kinds of exploits and what kinds of malware you need to deliver on to that device in order to compromise the whole device,” said Raymond. As an example, Raymond said that the Chinese Government could track the President’s movements if he had TikTok on his phone.

The professor said he would never download TikTok.

Dowel said he wasn’t worried about security. “We [young people] grew up with this, we understand the risks of the app. Like what to get to post and what not to post. We know that we’re smart enough to be able to read, explore, and not to post things that are sensitive or may put ourselves in danger.”

But Raymond said that most social media companies-not just TikTok-are tricky and most people don’t understand the risks.

“People in general are very bad at understanding digital risk...You can’t go to TikTok or Facebook and say, I really want to use your service. But I demand that you change this part of your user agreement, because I don’t like it,” said Raymond.

TikTok has around 70 million downloads in the U.S. Dowell plans on continuing to motivate people and minister through the app.

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