Influencer left seriously worried about future as US on brink of banning TikTok
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Featured Image Credit: WESH2/NBC
An influencer in the US has shared her concerns about TikTok being banned, having just hit a massive milestone on the platform.
Maida, 28, describes herself as a ‘travelling foodie’ on TikTok, where she has more than 215,000 followers and 20.5 million likes.
As US lawmakers consider a possible nationwide ban on TikTok, Maida admitted she feels a little spooked about what it could mean for her online career.
Speaking to WESH2, she said: “I just hit 20.5 million likes."
Maida knows how those likes and followers translate into cold, hard cash as well.
She continued: “We were able to buy our house because of TikTok,” she said. “I also paid off one of my student loans because of TikTok.
“So last year, I paid a $30,000 student loan off in cash from money that I earned on TikTok.”
In fact, Maida said about 50 percent of her income comes from TikTok, meaning she feels just as on edge as people might do if their employer suddenly announced layoffs.
“It would be like if you heard your company was doing layoffs, you would be really nervous that you might get laid off and you might not have a job," she went on.
“I kind of feel the same way."
The proposed ban on TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, comes after claims it poses a threat to national security by gathering data from users.
The move was first put forward by then-President Donald Trump in 2020, but Joe Biden is now also considering the ban.
As well as making money from her own TikTok page, Maida also relies on social media to promote her own jewellery business.
She also creates video content for other clients, meaning her income relies heavily on the platform.
She said a ban would ‘definitely mean a loss of income in a big way’, whether for her personal page or for the other brands she works with.
“I'm just one person. But again, there are so many small businesses and so many local mom-and-pop shops that have found success and have been able to keep their business open because of TikTok,” she said.
“If that was taken away, I think it would be really difficult on a lot of small businesses in our community and beyond.”