“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said to reporters while aboard Air Force One on Friday. Trump said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order. It was not immediately clear what such an order would look like and what legal challenges it may face.
Like any social media platform, people have grown to depend on TikTok as a way to build a career in social media and earn a living. Many social media stars have spent months or years building a following and creating videos, earning money from livestreaming, promoting music and sponsored content deals.
Now these influencers could lose the community they built on TikTok, leaving them with a tough choice for whether to try to rebuild all over again on other platforms with very different dynamics and content production requirements.
“We’re not planning on going anywhere,” Papas said in the video. “When it comes to safety and security, we’re building the safest app because we know it’s the right thing to do … We’re here for the long run. Continue to share your voice here and let’s stand for TikTok.”
The video features a montage of screenshots of how her account has grown over the years, and a teary-eyed Schwing blowing a kiss to her fans. The text on-screen of the video said: “I never thought anyone would watch my videos, but here we are. This isn’t just an app. It’s a family. Each and every one [sic] of you have changed my life for the better … You have all made so many of my dreams come true at such a young age. I love you. Thank you.”
Many creators went live or created videos telling their fans to follow them on other social platforms, including Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and short-form video app Triller.
“I hope that we get to stay with TikTok,” said TikTok user Emma Tovey, who has 120,000 followers, in a livestream. “I just wanted to just go ahead and make sure that you guys were aware of my social media accounts… I have those linked in my profile.”
And despite it all, some — including one of TikTok’s most famous older users, who goes by the moniker Grandma Sandy — sounded a note of hope.
“We’re all going to stay together as a family,” Grandma Sandy, who has 2.5 million followers on the platform, said in a livestream. “No matter what happens we’re going to continue on, all of us.”