TikTok creators fear a ban as the House prepares to vote on a bill that could block the app in America

TikTok creators fear a ban as the House prepares to vote on a bill that could block the app in America - Business and Finance - News

TikTok and Its Users Vigorously Oppose Potential Nationwide Ban: Impacts on Businesses and Creators

As the House prepares to vote on a bill that could potentially result in a nationwide ban of TikTok, the social media platform and its users are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to contest the legislation. The company’s CEO, Shou Chew, has been attempting to schedule last-minute meetings with members of Congress and has sent letters in response to allegations that the platform’s call-to-action campaign is “offensive” and “patently false.”

TikTok asserts that such a ban would significantly harm the approximately 5 million businesses that depend on the app. One such business is August, a brand of menstruation products created by TikTok influencer Nadya Okamoto, whose followers count over 4 million and includes national retailers like Target.

Okamoto’s TikTok account is a diverse platform that features videos on women’s health, sex education, and her personal life. Her collaborations with major brands such as Hoka have been facilitated by TikTok’s unique For You page, making it much easier for businesses to reach new audiences compared to other apps. “They’re primarily looking at content from people they don’t necessarily follow already,” Okamoto noted.

Okamoto, who is Asian-American, suspects that the anti-TikTok rhetoric might be rooted in xenophobia and fears for the potential consequences of a ban. “It feels like, in my gut, that this bill is coming forward with a lot of xenophobia,” she said. “There’s this conflation of the app directly with the Chinese Community Party.”

Despite concerns over national security, cybersecurity experts argue that there is no definitive evidence that the Chinese government has accessed user data from US TikTok users. Some creators interviewed by News Finder claim they have not encountered any content on TikTok that could be described as Chinese propaganda.

Grey Prnce, co-manager of the TikTok account @officiallyverygay, which boasts over 185,000 followers on the app and approximately half a million across multiple platforms, is more concerned about US policymakers having access to her data. “I’m more worried about the United States having my data,” she said.

One of Prnce’s most memorable experiences on TikTok occurred when she discovered she needed to find a public restroom in Times Square but struggled to locate one. She created the @Got2GoNYC account, documenting publicly accessible toilets in New York City, which has since amassed a large following. Prnce fears the potential ban could hinder her mission to help people find relief and undermine the community she’s built on TikTok.

TikTok creators argue that the legislation imposes unrealistic deadlines for ByteDance to find a new owner, potentially disrupting organic communities and making it difficult for creators to replicate their success on alternative platforms. Prnce also emphasized the unique atmosphere and authenticity of TikTok, which has played a significant role in her personal life and community-building efforts.

For creators like Okamoto, Siegel, and Prnce, the potential ban of TikTok poses a significant threat to their businesses and personal growth, as they continue to speak out against what they see as an unreasonable restriction on their speech and economic activity.