Banning TikTok could hurt some users’ businesses, careers

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)– The video-sharing app TikTok will stop appearing on app stores this weekend. The U.S. Commerce Department said in a press release that the app poses national security concerns.

Since its September 2016 launch in China, TikTok has spread to more than 150 countries. More than 100 million Americans use TikTok each month, according to Fortune.

But it’s far more than just dance moves, cooking tips and pet videos. Christine Juhas downloaded the app and posted her first video in November.

“And then I had a video blow up in February 2020,” said Juhas, also known by her handle @christines_snaps.

Initially, she was sharing Snapchat videos to the platform, primarily for her friends to see. The video that went viral was about buying a cactus from Walmart.

“Right now, it has about 36 million views,” Juhas said.

@christines_snapsI’m in over my head lmao ##plantparent ##FYP ##chaoticpets ##differentbreed ##BestThingSince ##xyzcba♬ original sound – Christine

Warning: Video contains profanity.

Juhas graduated from UW-Oshkosh with a degree in Radio, TV and Film but aspired to get into comedy writing. This was her big break.

“As soon as people were like, ‘hey, this girl is funny,’ I was like, ‘I’m just going to keep making videos,'” Juhas said.

She doesn’t necessarily make money off them, unless she promoted a brand as an ad. Another option is to go ‘live’ and have people send in donations. For her, it’s mostly about the exposure and materials for jobs.

“I use my TikTok as my portfolio for my videos–I wrote this, I directed this, I shot this,” she said.

As it stands, TikTok could be completely unusable by mid-November.

“That’s almost like taking my career away,” Juhas said.

Juhas has about 3.8 million followers and more than 81 million ‘likes’ on her videos. So she doesn’t have to start fresh, she’s been trying to get people to follow her on other platforms.

Even if the platform went down, with the pandemic, she’s got plenty of time on her hands.

“I’m just going to keep chugging along and making the videos, I mean I might as well,” Juhas said.

Not just for herself or her career, but for the people who enjoy them.