Monday, April 15, 2024

TikTok makers are worried about a possible ban because the House is getting ready to decide on a law that might stop the app in the United States

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TikTok and some of its users are doing everything they can to fight against a bill that might ban the app across the country.

As members of the House get ready to vote on the bill this Wednesday, TikTok is urging users to call their representatives using a full-screen notification about the law. The CEO, Shou Chew, is trying to set up last-minute meetings with Congress members. On Monday, the company sent letters to two lawmakers challenging their descriptions of TikTok’s campaign as “offensive” and “patently false.”

TikTok argues that banning the app would negatively affect 5 million businesses that depend on it.

One of these businesses belongs to Nadya Okamoto, a TikTok creator with over 4 million followers. Her brand, August, sells menstruation products in major retailers like Target. Okamoto believes that TikTok is a unique platform for businesses like hers to reach new audiences because of its For You page.

Okamoto, who is Asian-American, also thinks there’s a level of fear and racism behind the anti-TikTok sentiments, similar to what other Asian-Americans have experienced. She feels that the concerns about the app are rooted in xenophobia and not backed by evidence.

Concerns about TikTok’s national security are seen as a hypothetical scenario by cybersecurity experts. US officials haven’t presented any evidence publicly that the Chinese government has accessed the user data of US TikTok users. Lawmakers say the bill aims to prevent such access, fearing that China could force TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to hand over data for intelligence or propaganda.

TikTok creators interviewed by CNN say they haven’t personally seen any content on the app that could be described as Chinese propaganda.

A public service initiative started by Teddy Siegel, @Got2GoNYC, aims to map all publicly accessible toilets in New York City. Siegel, with her humor and relatable experiences, has gained over 185,000 followers on TikTok. She believes Congress is jeopardizing her mission to address the lack of available restrooms in public spaces.

Creators like Siegel express opposition to what they see as an unreasonable restriction on their speech and economic activity. They argue that TikTok’s casual and authentic atmosphere, along with its recommendation algorithm, allows for community-building and discovery of new creators, making it essential for the platform to continue serving US users.

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