TikTok is home to viral trends, hilarious pranks, and popular dance challenges, but the app that built the careers of Addison Rae Easterling, Charli D'Amelio, Bryce Hall, and more, may not be around for much longer. The possibility that the app could be banned in the U.S. is very real, and there's already a TikTok ban in place in India. For this reason, some of the app's biggest stars are preparing for the worst case scenario. These TikTokers' reactions to the possibility of a TikTok ban reveal what's at stake for the app's biggest creators.
ICYMI: The Trump administration confirmed in early July that the U.S. government is considering banning TikTok over security concerns about TikTok's user privacy and data use, as well as its relationship with ByteDance and the Chinese government. In regards to those concerns, a TikTok spokesperson tells Elite Daily in a statement that "TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S. We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked."
With the possibility of TikTok being shut down still looming, those who make their living off the app have strong opinions on the matter.
For instance, past and present Sway House members, including Josh Richards, Griffin Johnson, and Noah Beck, have already branched out from the app. The trio have invested in a video app called Triller, "an entertainment platform built for creators," according to the official site.
It's probably smart for the guys not to keep all their eggs in one basket, and Richards spoke out on the decision to make the leap to Triller. "After seeing the U.S. and other countries’ governments’ concerns over TikTok — and given my responsibility to protect and lead my followers and other influencers—I followed my instincts as an entrepreneur and made it my mission to find a solution," he said in a statement.
This doesn't mean the Sway boys will be ditching TikTok entirely, at least, not yet. "We will be posting but a lot of our posts will be more trying to move them off of that platform onto Triller," Griffin told the L.A. Times.
Richards, Johnson, and Beck, aren't the only TikTok stars who have spoken out about the potential ban. For many, the app is a main source of income. “It has put food on our table,” content creator Hootie Hurley told the New York Times. The star, who has more than 1.1 million followers on the app, said a TikTok ban would be "devastating" for him.
TikToker Nick Austin shared a similar viewpoint, explaining it would be hard to garner the same viral success elsewhere if he was forced to start over. “I have 7 million followers on TikTok, but it doesn’t translate to every platform,” he told The Times. “I only have 3 million on Instagram and 500,000 on YouTube. No matter what it’s going to be hard to transfer all the people I have on TikTok.”
“If TikTok did shut down, it would be like losing a bunch of really close friends I made, losing all the progress and work I did to get a big following,” said TikTok creator Ashleigh Hunniford, who boasts more than 400,000 followers.
The fate of TikTok is still up in the air, but it's comforting to know many of the app's stars have a plan B, and aren't going to stop making content anytime soon.