‘Up in the air as to what it means’: Winnipeg content creator on TikTok crackdown

Click to play video: 'How potential U.S. ban on TikTok could affect Canadians'
How potential U.S. ban on TikTok could affect Canadians
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a law that will force TikTok's Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to sell the popular platform, or else it will be banned in America. Jackson Proskow looks at how some influencers are worried about the move, what comes next, and what an American ban could mean for Canadians – Mar 13, 2024

A popular social media platform is making headlines, but this time it’s not for a viral video.

Debate on both sides of the Canada/U.S. border continues over TikTok, the Chinese social video sharing service that has come under fire for security reasons.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday banning the app unless its China-based owner sells its stake. That news sparked revelations that the federal government on this side of the border ordered a national security review of TikTok last September, but didn’t disclose the probe publicly.

For local content creators, the ongoing drama raises a lot of questions surrounding the app’s future.

Winnipeg’s Sherry McKay has hundreds of thousands of followers on her TikTok account. @sherry.mckay / TikTok

“Ultimately, 40 per cent of my followers come from the United States. Does that mean I’m going to lose 40 per cent of my following? It’s still up in the air as to what it means for someone who’s up in Canada,” Winnipeg TikTok user Sherry McKay told 680 CJOB’s The Start.

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McKay’s comedy-focused account, @sherry.mckay, currently attracts over 628,000 followers and has received more than 28 million likes — but although she says she’ll miss the platform if it’s banned, it won’t affect her livelihood.

“I really do enjoy it as a creative outlet and an educational tool,” she said, “and for consumption as well. I learn a lot of things from a lot of people.

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“At the beginning of the pandemic, I was creating content that related to my experiences, coming from a comedic perspective, and people were digging that… and I was also finding content out there that I could find relatable.

“That’s what it is — finding those relatable people out there that are on the same wavelength as you, and so I feel like taking that away is going to make a huge impact.”

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McKay said she’s more worried about some of her friends down south, who will lose a large part of their income if the app is banned.

Federal industry minister Francois-Philippe Champagne’s office says the review last fall was based on the expansion of a previous business, which it says constituted the establishment of a new Canadian entity.

The Chinese-based company would be subject to enhanced scrutiny under the act under a new policy on foreign investments in the interactive digital media sector.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba to ban TikTok app on government-issued devices over security concerns'
Manitoba to ban TikTok app on government-issued devices over security concerns

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