TikTok Turns to Creators to Fight Possible Ban

Facing a possible ban in the United States, TikTok has scrambled to deploy perhaps its most powerful weapon: its creators.

The hugely popular video service began recruiting dozens of creators at the end of last week, asking them to travel to Washington to fight a bill being debated in Congress. Under the proposal, TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, would need to sell the app or it would be blocked in the United States.

Many of the creators have met with lawmakers and posted videos about their opposition to the bill with the hashtag #KeepTikTok, often with the irreverent humor the app is known for.

“So old white people boomers we call Congress-people are trying to ban TikTok, and I’m not having it,” Giovanna González, a TikTok creator better known as @TheFirstGenMentor, posted in a video on Tuesday, with the U.S. Capitol visible in the distance behind her.

So far, the efforts have not panned out. The House passed the bill Wednesday with broad bipartisan support. But it may face an uphill battle in the Senate, where TikTok creators are already setting their sights.

Unlike traditional lobbyists, the creators were not paid to support TikTok. However, the company covered their transportation, lodging and meals, including a festive dinner at the Bazaar by José Andrés, a restaurant in the Waldorf Astoria hotel.

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