TikTok creators concerned about the future of their income if the app gets banned in the U.S.

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WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – As the famous saying goes, “social media is just a highlight reel.” 

That can be true in most cases, but unlike other apps, TikTok has become a unique platform where the realities of life are appreciated and noticed. 

”A lot of people just kind of related to me and that’s kind of how I gained my following because people like the ‘real’ that they can find on there. You get the real deal with me, whether it’s good or bad, that’s what you get. And people really like that because they like authenticity.”

Amy Jackson – Full-Time TikTok Creator

Amy Jackson is an Ohio Valley native, and when you look at her TikTok profile you’ll see nearly 800,000 followers. 

Not because she lives a “perfect” and “aesthetic” life, but because she’s human and puts a face to experiences that many people face. 

”I just kind of started sharing my story. I used to be an addict, so I kind of shared about how I got clean and then I just kind of shared the struggles of my life and the things that I was going through,” recalled Amy. “A lot of people just kind of related to me.”

One of her most viral videos with nearly 2 million views is an open letter to her daughter, apologizing and taking accountability for her life struggling with addiction. 

It’s that vulnerability, and the opportunities that TikTok provides normal people, going through normal human experiences, that has changed Amy and her family’s life around. 

”We were living in low-income apartments. We were in poverty and on welfare. You know, I worked, but we didn’t make hardly anything. Tik Tok took me from welfare to buying our first home, we bought a car, we’re going on vacations, like it literally changed my whole entire life. We went from nothing to, you know, six figure income. So, it’s been absolutely life changing. It’s changed everything.”

The problem with the ease of making money on TikTok, is now the ease of it being taken away right from underneath creators who have worked to build livelihoods on their platforms. 

”It’s very scary because TikTok is me and my husband’s fulltime job. So, if we lose that, we we’re going to lose everything,” she said. “There’s a big group of creators that are in different programs that we’re in and we all depend on TikTok to bring in an income. It’s not only us, there’s businesses on there, there’s people that just make, creator fund views. Like there’s so many people that make money from Tik Tok that is going to lose that if something were to happen. And it’s very scary for sure.”

It’s not just Amy – millions of lives would be changed. 

”The millions of dollars that we’re all paying in taxes, the government’s going to lose all that and it’s going to be a big change for not only us, but like the IRS and government, too. So, it’s going to be a big change for everybody. Everybody is very nervous right now. I think we’re okay until it gets to the Senate. But, if it passes the Senate, then we’re going to start to really worry.”

Like they have built up their followings, in the words of Amy they will, “figure it out,” but the uncertainty looms over hundreds of millions of online creators until that day comes. 

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