As the Trump administration moves forward with an executive order to ban downloads of TikTok and WeChat, Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman hopes that it will be the incentive needed to get influencers involved with voter campaigns.
Early Friday, the Commerce Department ordered a ban on the distribution of TikTok and WeChat through U.S. app stores. Trump’s executive order, which goes into effect Sunday, will restrict users from downloading the apps onto their phones. Those who have already installed the apps may continue using them without penalty but will not have access to updates.
Discussions surrounding the TikTok ban started in July when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the consideration over “security concerns.” The app threatened legal action against the administration in August after Trump signed an executive order banning TikTok and WeChat transactions.
Though the company filed a suit against the government to overturn the order later that month, the administration is unrelenting.
so let me get this straight. we are in the middle of a pandemic that has killed 200k americans,the economy is trash,and there are mass protests against police brutality but trump wants to focus on banning tik tok? #tiktokban pic.twitter.com/7423eG1Ol1
— abbi (@fallawaybandito) September 18, 2020
-Pandemic, originally known as “hoax”, killing 200k citizens
-Protests still happening cause trained professionals can’t stop shooting ppl
-Most comfortable white supremists has been in recent years
— 𝕙𝕥𝕥𝕡𝕤//:𝕠𝕡𝕚𝕟𝕚𝕠𝕟𝕤 (@sxcialera) September 18, 2020
Others are challenging the ban as a violation of First Amendment rights.
I don’t care much for @tiktok_us but banning it is straight up a violation of our first amendment rights. @Facebook is a far larger threat to Americans… but since Tiktok is from China, it’s gotta go. #makessense #logical #tiktokban
— Gregory Chamberlain (@GregTheSlacker) September 18, 2020
Idk about y’all but this seems like a violation of our rights. Tiktok literally United A whole generation, it helped us understand that there are people just like us everywhere. Okay, Take away our safe place and we will take away yours. pic.twitter.com/VHdqlva6yR
— SLEEPY ASH ⁷ IN生 (@Taekmk) September 18, 2020
— River Winebarger (@RiverWinebarge2) August 1, 2020
However, Lyman has found what appears to be a silver lining to the order.
“We have been trying to get influencers to get involved with get out the vote campaigns, but most of them want to be paid,” he tweets. “Maybe taking away [TikTok] & WeChat will wake them up, to the importance of this election.”
We have been trying to get influencers to get involved with get out the vote campaigns, but most of them want to be paid. Maybe taking away Ticktock & WeChat will wake them up, to the importance of this election.
— KevinLyman (@KevinLyman) September 18, 2020
This wouldn’t be the first time that TikTok influencers generated political sway. The app is widely reported to be responsible for the unimpressive turnout at Trump’s Tulsa Rally in June.
In an effort coordinated through the app, users encouraged people to register for the free event and not show. In the days leading up to the event, Trump tweeted that almost a million people had requested tickets, while the actual turnout was significantly lower than the auditorium’s 19,000 person capacity.
What do you think about the Trump Administration’s ban on TikTok and WeChat? Let us know in the comments below.
Get more information on voting and upcoming elections from one of the below online resources:
HeadCount (Campaigning and registration information)
Vote.org (Absentee and early voting rules for each state)
Rock The Vote (A nonpartisan nonprofit making democratic participation more accessible)
Turbo Vote (Election reminders, voter registration and absentee ballot applications)