Social media sites, like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram, has made big stars like Justin Bieber, overnight stars, and overnight cancellations. What you see in your feed is big business and potentially world changing or is it? How can something as harmless as dance moves, funny pets, and current events change the world?
The US government felt that the 2016 election was manipulated via social media. Advertisers and marketers know the power of repetition and frequency and the social media platforms can do exactly that. For example, Walmart is now selling the pink sauce that was so prominently featured in so many TikTok videos last year. And as more people get all of their information from these social media apps, replacing Google in many instances, the apps will get more power from their ability to control their users.
What the government now is worried about is TikTok which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. Any Chinese company can be coerced by the Chinese government to do anything. Anything could include manipulating Americans into certain beliefs.
Fears of Foulplay
For example, US Rep. Mike Gallagher fears the Chinese government could hide videos denouncing the country’s leadership or play up certain propaganda videos, since 33% of TikTok users get news from the app. Further, in 2020, US TikTok executives uncovered that employees in China had modified the algorithm to de-emphasize certain videos about the US election.
In addition to “mind control” government officials are afraid that the Chinese government can use the app as a Trojan Horse to spy on American users that share information with them.
Thus to avoid getting banned in the US, although some places have already forbade the TikTok app, like the University of Texas in Austin, TikTok is going to have a “chaperone” in the database giant Oracle. TikTok now has to send all data to Oracle and allow for them or any other third parties to check the algorithm for any kinds of misuse or manipulations.
TikTok is now being quickly banned from a number of US University networks, US federal and state government devices, and a number of Middle East and Asian countries. (So far, no European countries have banned the app). Despite this, the ban is actually making people more curious as to what is on there that the government is so afraid of you seeing. At the same time, all of the US social networks are banned in China. In fact, China has its own infrastructure and tech giants like Alibaba, Baidu, WeChat, Weibo, and others.
What does this mean for the future of TikTok and its millions of influencers, users, and content creators? Will the ban actually drive adoption via some kind of back channel network? The early opinions have been all over put trending upwards with more and more Americans supporting the ban.
For influencers, TikTok has been overwhelmingly generous and in touch with the creator community, providing a Creator Fund, offering the ability for viewers to give Live Gifts to its favorite creators, and a Marketplace where it can connect with a variety of brands. We’ve even previously acknowledged that it could be the best place for creators to monetize.
Will the ban slow down the momentum of the upstart social network? Remember Twitter had some hiccups along the way with technical glitches, not bureaucratic ones, but that didn’t stop them from becoming the giant that they are.
Are you on TikTok as a creator? Are you seeing decreases (or increases) in your stats, views, followers, and most importantly earnings? Drop us a note and let us know if any of these headlines are affecting your business!