WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — TikTok creators took to Capitol Hill Wednesday to discourage Congress from banning the social media app nationwide.
The creators use TikTok for all sorts of things, from posting poetry to discussing mental health to teaching grammar to showing off their fashion lines. They say banning the app would crush their businesses.
“I would lose a business that I’ve worked almost a decade for,” said Summer Lucille, who said the app increased e-commerce for her small fashion business by 800%.
She said the booming business allows her to support her family.
“It changed my life forever, so I would be devastated (by a ban),” she said.
The full-court press sponsored by TikTok came one day before the company’s CEO was scheduled to testify before senators and as the White House and a growing number of lawmakers from both parties say they are concerned the China-owned app could share millions of Americans’ data with the Chinese government.
“TikTok poses a national security threat,” Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said on the Senate floor.
TikTok insists user data is safe but amid pressure from Washington is considering parting ways with its Chinese parent company.
“I think it’s time to just ban it,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said. “My concern is with Beijing using it as a back door into people’s private lives.”
He led a successful effort to ban TikTok from all federal government-owned devices.
To the influencers who would be affected by a nationwide ban, he said there will be other options.
“I promise there will be new platforms like TikTok that will absolutely come into the space,” Hawley said.