Content creators worried about miseducation without TikTok

This was during the height of December 2020 Covid-19 pandemic When “Ms. James”, a public school teacher in a small rural Southern town, realized that her virtual students were not watching the grammar lessons she had assigned. That is, until he posted them TIC Toc.

Everything changed when she found out about the social media platform and created her profile @iamthatenglishteacher, opens new tab,

“In a day I had a thousand followers, in a week I had 10,000 followers and in six weeks I had a million followers,” he told Reuters.

“Within six months, I had a million and a half,” added the 15-year-old teacher, who asked that her full name not be used for privacy.

Now, he has 5.8 million followers on TikTok, but his educational content is now under threat.

Overwhelming majority in the US House of Representatives passed a bill Last week TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance will have about six months to sell the short-video app’s US assets, or face sanctions. This is the biggest threat since the Trump administration to the app and the content creators who reach wide audiences and often make their living on it.

“When you talk about a ban, you’re talking about taking away access to high quality educational videos from people who have used them to enhance their education,” Ms James said.

While her TikTok lessons are used by students ranging from elementary school to college, the majority of her followers are English second language (ESL) students as well as homeschoolers from the Philippines.

From videos on subject-verb agreement to vocabulary, Ms. James believes her legacy is to help the world through education and she fears a ban will be harmful.

“I think TikTok is a storehouse of knowledge,” NaomiHearts, opens new tab A content creator best known among her 1.1 million followers for her TikTok videos about fatphobia and trans Chicana identity told Reuters.

They also fear that the ban will silence diverse, informative content, including their own.

However, University of Southern California professor Karen North, opens new tab gives this warning to its students personal data There is danger on TikTok.

North, founder and former director of USC Annenberg’s digital social media program, told Reuters, “My concern about TikTok is less about whether the information is provided or manipulated or whether it conveys a message or Leaning toward someone else.”

He said, “It focuses on what kind of personal information people are willingly giving to an entity that doesn’t have the same standards for privacy that we have in[the United States]. That’s a big issue with TikTok.” topic is.”

North, a former White House staffer working for the Clinton administration on Capitol Hill, worries that the Chinese company’s use of functions like facial recognition and location tracking poses risks that outweigh the app’s attractive benefits, including education.

content creator Dr. Anthony YunThe actor, known for his educational TikTok videos exploring his profession as a plastic surgeon, believes the ban will lead to significant drawbacks on information access.

“TikTok has a big section where you get your news, so it’s about being educated,” Dr. Yoon, who has 8.4 million followers, told Reuters.

Similarly, NaomiHearts feels the ban is less about protecting data, as other apps also collect personal information, and more about depriving consumers of informative content.