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What a TikTok Ban Could Mean for Black Creators in the United States

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In April 2024, America’s President Joe Biden signed into law the TikTok ban bill. This leaves the Chinese-owned app at the edge of losing one of its biggest markets, after other countries like Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Canada and the European Union members, implemented a similar policy. 

The owners of TikTok ByteDance, a Beijing-based parent company, have less than nine months to sell the company or face a nationwide ban. The U.S. Senate states its presence is a national security concern if the app remains a foreign-owned entity. However, ByteDance is challenging the move in court, citing a breach of the users’ First Amendment Rights. 

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But how will this affect black creators?

Impact of Potential TikTok Ban on Black Creators

Potential TikTok ban approved. Video Credit: ABC News

According to Backlinko, 170 million people in the United States use TikTok to share videos and keep up with their friends, celebrities and people of interest. Others use it for content creation, which is their full-time job. How will a ban affect their work?

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Loss of Income Stream

TikTok pays creators for driving engagement and views on the platform through its payment programs. Although accounts with a big following and engagement benefit the most, many young adults are making money on the app. 

According to SEO Design Chicago, creators with over 100,000 followers can make between $200 and $1,000 a month and those with over 1 million can make between $1,000 to $5,000 a month. This is a significant amount that many creators will lose if a ban comes into effect.

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Oversaturation of Content

A woman using the TikTok app. Photo by cottonbro studio

With a looming TikTok ban, creators are developing an audience on other platforms like Instagram, YouTube and even Facebook. Some of them have a massive community on TikTok and would want to maintain it. However, because different platforms operate differently, the impact will not be the same.

Instagram, YouTube and Facebook have reels but they weren’t designed to be short video platforms, hence they will have to optimize their messages to these apps’ algorithms. This will lead to oversaturation of content as creators seek to capture the attention of users.  

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Loss of Communities

One of the best things about social media is the creation of online communities where people share their experiences. TikTok creators attract followers who resonate with their content, providing an outlet for people to speak up and find similar-minded people. If the TikTok ban comes into effect, these virtual meeting zones will be forced to find a new home or will be lost.

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Loss of Exposure

A smartphone with TikTok on. Photo by Collabstr on Unsplash

Many black creators have earned exposure through TikTok by posting entertaining or educational material. They have also used it to boost their business and a ban could deny them an opportunity to tap into the online market. 

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How can Black Creators Protect Themselves?

What a potential TikTok ban could mean for creators. Video Credit: Yahoo Finance

If you haven’t thought about the impact of a TikTok ban, you should pay attention before it’s too late. Here’s what you can do.

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Diversify Your Social Media Presence

If you are reliant on TikTok, you need to start building an audience on other platforms. You can do this on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, which also have video-sharing capabilities. Reuse your TikTok content and ask your followers to subscribe to the other channels. Once you gain traction, you can start making exclusive content for these platforms and, in the long run, you can sustain your community and income source.

Be Consistent

If you can build a TikTok following, you can do it on any platform. Each one has different demands, but you are tech-savvy and can figure out in a snap of a finger how to go about things. Just like you did on TikTok, consistency is the glue that keeps everything going. Post frequently and you will be on your way to rebuilding your online presence.

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Offer Online Products

Online conference. Photo by Lucas Law on Unsplash

If you are earning from TikTok through your posts, it’s time to branch out and broaden your income potential. You can create and sell courses, merchandise and other digital products to your followers. This gives you control over your income and aren’t limited to advertising your products on TikTok. It won’t make losing your TikTok income easy, but at least you will have a soft landing.

Do Consultations

If you are an expert in your field, you can start offering consultations to your followers. This is another way of monetizing your knowledge directly without relying on TikTok. Do your research and figure out how much you can charge, create different packages and invite people to try out your services.

Why Is the U.S. Banning TikTok?

The biggest reason the United States government might impose a nationwide TikTok ban is concerns over the illegal use of data by ByteDance. It insists that the app can access users’ sensitive data and use it against them. However, ByteDance refutes the claim, stating it will never exploit users’ information. 

This wasn’t the first time the US tried to ban the app. Former president Donald Trump tried to ban the app unsuccessfully. 

Critics of the TikTok Ban

Some TikTok users expressed their disagreement over the ban stating it will impact their means of earning a living. Additionally, they view this as a blow to their First Amendment rights, because they are forced out of an app without their consent. Some also state it’s hypocritical of the government to do this as other apps like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram collect user information.

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Will the TikTok Ban Happen?

First, you don’t want to wait to find out, so if you are a creator, better be safe than sorry. If ByteDance sells the company to a non-Chinese company, chances are that it might remain, but if it doesn’t, it might be banned. Apple and Google stores will be asked to remove TikTok from their platforms. That said, we can only wait and see.

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Agnes Amondi
Agnes Amondi
Agnes Amondi is a sports enthusiast who enjoys sharing sports knowledge. Over the years, she has also written on different niches, and she now brings that experience at Spotcovery. She writes sports content and also, Arts & Culture, Recipe, Beauty and more.

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