After hearing about Biden’s potential ban on TikTok, some users say they’re not worried (yet)
Their favorite app might be banned, but instead of panicking, some TikTok users said they remained unfazed.
NBC News reported this week, citing a source close to the company, that the Biden administration is threatening to potentially ban TikTok in the United States if the app’s Chinese owners refuse to sell their shares. Asked by NBC News about the threat, a handful of young users shared a similar sentiment: They don’t take it seriously.
The response online appears to be less harsh than when then-President Donald Trump and his administration issued a ban.
“This same thing happened a while ago,” Haley Kowtko, 19, from California, said via text message. “Not many people talk about it, especially on the app. I haven’t seen anything about the potentially banned app.
This does not mean that some people do not react on the application. The #DontBanTikTok hashtag has been viewed more than 93.2 million times, with some videos dating back to 2020 and others uploaded this week following reports of the Biden administration’s decision. A TikTok spokesperson confirmed on Friday that a handful of creators are planning an out-of-app protest in Washington, DC, for Wednesday, hoping to bring their concerns to the doorstep of the Biden administration.
But the current sentiment among users contrasts sharply with the ban previously proposed by the Trump administration. At that time, a creator said he had “never seen so many people talking about one thing on the app for so long”.
“I think because we’ve all panicked before and nothing happened, nobody takes it seriously,” Kowtko said.
Jacqueline Metzger, 17, said she was “a little surprised” when she heard about a potential ban. But she said the loss of TikTok would likely make way for another new platform or make an existing platform more popular, just as TikTok filled the void left by the old shorthand video app Vine.
“If TikTok is banned, someone is going to come up with an alternative. There are already so many TikTok alternatives, like YouTube shorts and Instagram reels,” Metzger said. worried about it.”
This time around, creators are also less scared: some have already branched out beyond TikTok to expand their audience.
“I don’t see that happening soon or in the short term, and creators since 2020 have been very savvy about being on multiple platforms and making short videos in multiple different places,” said Mae Karwowski, Founder and CEO of influencer marketing agency Obviously. “It’s less damaging than the initial 2020 story.”
She said the mood among users and content creators on TikTok is currently “cautiously optimistic”.
I think the app will be one way or another. I just don’t think it will belong to ByteDance.
Gigi Robinson, 24, Gen Z content creator and motivational speaker
TikTok creator Marcus DiPaola, who has 3.8 million followers, said he noticed waves of panic among creators who feared losing their platform.
DiPaola, who is known for posting videos on the news, said he’s seen “countless TikToks” from creators urging followers to subscribe to their other platforms, just in case the platform goes down. However, DiPaola said he was among the least worried users.
“I’m on a bunch of platforms,” he said. “If TikTok is banned it would suck, but I’m not screwed.”
Others on the app said they weren’t worried as they believed TikTok might be sold to a US-based company, meaning it wouldn’t go away completely.
“I’m not really worried at all,” said Gigi Robinson, 24, a Gen Z content creator and motivational speaker.
She referenced when Microsoft was in the running to acquire TikTok when Trump tried to ban the app.
“I think the app will be one way or another,” she said. “I just don’t think it will belong to ByteDance.”