As lawmakers go after TikTok, social media creators fear losing part of their livelihood

TikTok(DC Bureau)
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 1:25 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- A St. Louis couple has made a name for themselves on the social media app TikTok. The thought of losing the app has them terrified.

Several lawmakers want to ban the app in the U.S. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chou testified Thursday in front of Congress about concerns that the app is using Americans’ personal data. The Biden administration is threatening to ban the app unless it breaks away from its Chinese owner.

Three years ago, when COVID-19 first hit, Hailee and Kenda started making videos on the app. Their popularity grew fast, eventually reaching 9 million followers.

“This became our full-time job, and that was our way to pay our bills and also to connect with people,” Kendra said,

U.S. Senator from Missouri Josh Hawley told News 4 he’s had enough with TikTok.

“TikTok is uniquely a threat because it is influenced by and tied to the Chinese communist party, and that’s why we need to ban it,” Hawley said.

St. Louis YouTuber Dante Barger said privacy is always a concern, but he added that this also comes down to jobs for some people.

“As a content creator, whenever you think of a platform disappearing, it’s always scary because the reality of the situation, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, all of these things could disappear overnight, and if we’ve built a community and an audience on these platforms, were kind of relying on that,” Barger said.

Barger said he’s considered growing his audience on TikTok, but in light of what’s going on, he is focusing on what he has.