TikTok Creators are Signing an Open Letter to President Biden

By Editorial Staff

Short-form content has revolutionized the digital landscape in ways that can’t be fully comprehended without considering socio-political and economic spaces. From the impact it’s had on creators to independent brand growth to grassroots social and political movements, it’s truly integrated itself into the fabric of our lives. 

Many influencers and creators on TikTok have also personally cemented their livelihoods on the app – with top creators boasting millions in revenue from making, sharing, and promoting content. In addition to that growth, many have done swimmingly in using TikTok as a diving board into other platforms.

What was once a slightly underrated or even undervalued occupation, has now transformed into a claustrophobic industry. More and more people are making the jump into digital and social content creation. 

However, even amidst the massive growth TikTok has had in recent years, political discourse about the app’s future has made many creators and viewers alike wary. On April 24th, their suspicions and fears were proven valid, as President Biden signed a bill forcing ByteDance – the Chinese tech company operating behind TikTok – to sell TikTok to an American-based company. If TikTok fails to divest from its Chinese owner in the next year, the app will face a U.S. ban – removing its accessibility to all local users, creators, and investors. 

TikTok Creators are Signing an Open Letter to President Biden

Via Vecteezy

In a similarly grassroots event of spontaneity, which seems to define young activism in Gen Z, a group of 30+ TikTok creators collaborated to draft an open letter to President Biden – urging him to consider the ways in which a ban of the app would not only disrupt their occupations, but tantalize the global communication & community the app has revolutionized. 

“Banning TikTok would be a serious error,” the letter starts. “While we acknowledge concerns regarding national security and personal data protection, we are reassured by the efforts of the TikTok team, particularly through Project Texas…However, let’s address the reality of this bill. It’s not about divestment; if it were, we’d be willing to engage in constructive dialogue to facilitate a transition while safeguarding our freedom of expression. Instead, this bill outright bans TikTok.” 


As lawmakers in the United States resume conversations about legislation determining the future of TikTok, an 18-person collective of creators with a combined reach of over 16 million followers released an open letter urging President #JoeBiden to stop a potential ban on the app. @Nadya Okamoto, a content creator with over 4 million followers on TikTok, is spearheading the ‘Dear President Biden’ effort. She is also the founder of @It’s August, a period care brand that went viral on TikTok in late 2021. Okamoto has a history of organizing around political issues like the “tampon tax.” “I don’t want to go down without a fight and having done nothing,” Okamoto told Passionfruit. “This has bipartisan support, and it’s moving at a speed that requires us to take it very seriously.” More on the letter and what’s going on with a potential TikTok ban in our link in bio. 🔗 #fyp #tiktokban #tiktok #bytedance #joebiden #potus #creator #creatoreconomy #election #votetiktok #vote #2024election

♬ original sound – passionfruit

Nadya Okamoto, a content creator on TikTok with over 4M followers, spearheaded this open communication to President Biden – arguing five main reasons why this bill, and more specifically a ban of TikTok, would be detrimental to users of the app and our nation at large. 

What The Open Letter Urges President Biden To Consider About TikTok

Despite the confidence TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has expressed in overturning the signed bill, millions of users and creators continue to share their distaste and anxiety over the potential for a ban. 

TikTok creators and users may have many personal reasons of why a TikTok ban may concern them. However, contributors to this open letter argue five larger-scale reasons a TikTok ban would be inherently harmful and misguided. 

1. Removing TikTok would essentially erase this important ‘medium for storytelling’ – silencing marginalized voices online. 

“TikTok serves as a platform for us to share our stories and spread joy,” the creators write in their letter, “amplifying voices that might otherwise go unheard.” In a world where truth is often elusive, TikTok has become a vital medium for storytelling.” 

With almost half of users admitting to getting news or engaging with newsworthy stories on the app – a percentage that’s inevitably grown in 2024 – it’d be ignorant to assume there’s only lighthearted content on the app. It provides a space for people to voice their opinions, share their stories, provide real testimonials, and even build communities. 

Especially following the COVID-19 pandemic and shifts in the integration of social platforms with our “real lives”, these creators’ pleas seem to resonate as they argue for the importance of community, accessible knowledge & education, and global communication. 

2. Creators, influencers, & other professionals on the app would lose their primary sources of income. 

Although many creators and influencers have started to diversify their platforms and move their communities to different apps – whether that be from fear or otherwise – there are still millions of creators on the app. Most importantly, there are creators of all sizes – many of which have been able to build a career and provide for themselves with an income from TikTok. It’s become their livelihood, which is exactly why this open letter directly addresses consequences a ban could cause. “This aligns with your focus on job creation and economic prosperity for Americans,” they write. “Many of us rely on TikTok for income. 

3. There’s no ‘substantial evidence’ to argue national security is being threatened by TikTok. 

Studies and insights from the U.S. Intelligence admits there’s “no evidence” to assume TikTok is a threat to national security – despite its highly debated and controversial front in many political spaces. Other data experts even suggest that if the Chinese government wanted to get data information on the American public – they could do so in a variety of other ways, not on the social platform. 

This letter addresses that claim, arguing that while national security is “paramount,” users don’t feel “endangered;” concluding no distrust in TikTok. 

Via Vecteezy

4. Banning TikTok would prove invaluable for election education, advocacy, and registration campaigns. 

“In an election year,” they add, “alienating young voters by banning TikTok would be counterproductive. The platform has proven to be invaluable for education on various issues, including vaccine information and voter registration.” 

In a veiled threat to Biden’s re-election, the letter argues that banning TikTok would spark distrust among younger voters. Additionally, a TikTok ban would make voter registration information, campaign news, and transparency about the political process inaccessible to them. 

5. A ban is too absolute – flexibility in regulations would provide more comprehensive reform to areas of concern on TikTok. 

“A blanket ban is not the solution,” they continue. “Instead…the bill should allow for flexibility, ensuring that TikTok remains a global space for connection while implementing measures to address security concerns gradually.” 

Their pleas against a potential TikTok ban revolve around accessibility, community, and open communication. “We invite open dialogue…and we will continue to mobilize and utilize our platforms to defend TikTok.” 

Closing Thoughts On Conversations About A Potential TikTok Ban

Ultimately, the future of TikTok remains unknown. Amidst conversations about banning TikTok to another company, one thing remains clear: users are not going to stay quiet. It’s not just a social media app for entertainment. TikTok is an online gathering place for communities. TikTok is an educational and networking platform. Most importantly, TikTok is the livelihood of millions across the nation. 

President Biden has not directly addressed the letter from creators, but online discourse about the ban continues to grow. It is likely for it to continue to grow well into 2025 as the potential ban grows closer.

This article was written by Zayda Slabbekoorn

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