TikTok content creators gather in DC to protest bans ahead of CEO's testimony

Washington, DC - TikTok content creators took to the Capitol on Wednesday to protest against proposed bans of the app, one day before CEO Shou Zi Chew was set to testify before Congress.

Content creators rallied in Washington, DC to urge politicians to "Keep TikTok."
Content creators rallied in Washington, DC to urge politicians to "Keep TikTok."  © TASOS KATOPODIS / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Politicians across the country have begun targeting the video-sharing platform, with bans already imposed on government devices and many college campuses.

Per NBC News, around 30 prominent TikTok creators participated in Wednesday's protest, as well as Representatives Jamaal Bowman, Mark Pocan, and Robert Garcia.

V Spehar, who has nearly 3 million followers on their page @underthedesknews, called out the hypocrisy displayed by the government in taking advantage of the platform to reach a wider audience before the increasing bans.

"I think the White House certainly recognizes the importance and the reach this platform has, or I wouldn't have two letters sitting at home on my desk right now signed by Joe Biden saying how important my platform is and how proud he is of the work I do," they said.

Pocan also criticized the bans, arguing that banning a single platform overlooks the more significant issue.

"We have a real problem that exists, that's happening with social media in general, with data, with disinformation," he told the crowd. "That's what we should be addressing."

TikTok star Jason Linton, who boasts nearly 13 million followers on his account @dadlifejason, urged politicians not to "take away the community that we've built."

TikTok creators argue the importance of the platform's community

Other participants at the rally emphasized TikTok's value in helping users find a sense of community, particularly those from marginalized groups.

"I feel like, as a trans woman, being on this platform, I've had opportunities I never would have had if I had not been for TikTok," Naomi Hearts said, who has over a million followers as @naomiheartsxo.

On Tuesday, Chew took to the app with his own plea to prevent the bans.

He highlighted the immense value of TikTok in promoting small businesses and urged users to share why they want to save the platform in the comments ahead of his testimony.


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