I use TikTok to showcase my artistry as a magician, and I like the lighthearted and entertainment aspects of the application. Through TikTok, I’ve established connections with fellow magicians, affording me the opportunity to absorb fresh ideas and engage in meaningful exchanges.
Another friend of mine chronicles their travels through video logs, capturing journeys across the country. There are also local amateur restaurant reviewers which have led me to some of the tastiest culinary establishments in New Orleans.
Why then is Congress trying to ban the app? Two-thirds of state legislatures, including Louisiana’s, have already taken some steps to do this on college campuses and through state-sponsored networks.
Dear Congress: Save TikTok
The power of TikTok’s genuine, real-life imagery and voices extends well beyond the confines of a printed newspaper column or a TV commentary. The legacy of the late New Orleans comedian Boogie B and his TikTok theme “New Orleans Hood History” remains vivid to illustrate this point: Where would we be without these entries on TikTok to know more about the many facets of New Orleans and Louisiana?
The TikTok approach is simple yet effective, a complimentary means to promoting a new hobby or entrepreneurship with an incredible audience to see a person’s brand.
As an American, I can acknowledge concerns about the platform which Congress and the President are raising: TikTok is mostly used by people on their phones and so the fact that it comes out of China gives concern to many about how this global competitor accesses our content, privacy, and safety. These concerns should be addressed through comprehensive and responsible regulation rather than outright banning an app used by 150 million Americans, and which has grown increasingly important to young African Americans as a safe, alternative media source.
Dear Congress: Save TikTok
Besides, national elections are around the corner. Why silence a platform used by young voters, like me, who interact with others to discuss issues and candidates? It seems anti-democratic at a time when we need to promote engagement in the future direction of our country.
In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, platforms like TikTok have emerged as dynamic spaces that encourage creativity, connectivity, information and economic growth.
TikTok has redefined the way we express ourselves. With its short-form video format, it encourages users to condense their ideas, stories, and talents into engaging and captivating content. Unlike facebook, it bans political ads, but even so-called influencers can share their ideas safely, without the shaming that often occurs on other apps like the former Twitter.
TikTok serves as a launchpad and its global user base is diverse, transcending borders and promoting meaningful connections.
I have contacted policymakers like our Congressmen Troy Carter, Steve Scalise and Garret Graves and encouraged them to nurture the positive aspects of TikTok. Their staff responses have been encouraging and indicate that TikTok is working to be protective of Americans online. I encourage these leaders to help Congress address legitimate TikTok concerns through balanced and thoughtful measures.