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Queer TikTokers Say App Ban Will Eliminate LGBTQ+ Communities And Activism

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill aiming to ban TikTok, some suggesting it poses a threat to its LGBTQ+ users and content creators. The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act received broad bipartisan support, with 352 votes in favor and 65 against. If enacted, the legislation would remove TikTok from U.S. app stores unless its Chinese owner, Bytedance, sells it to an American company. The bill awaits Senate approval before reaching President Joe Biden’s desk, who has expressed willingness to sign it. However, concerns have been raised about potential backlash from young voters, who have been actively lobbying against the bill. Many fear the ban would disrupt the LGBTQ+ communities and livelihoods built on the platform. A law in Montana that was similar to the proposed national legislation faced legal opposition from TikTok, suggesting potential challenges ahead. Content creators have been advised to build audiences on alternate platforms amid uncertainty. LGBTQ+ TikTokers caution the ban could disproportionately impact their community, erasing vital networks. Nonbinary TikToker Jeffrey Marsh, with nearly 700,000 followers, fears losing their supportive community if TikTok is banned. Marsh acknowledges TikTok’s flaws but values its unique capacity for connection, expressing concern over its potential demise. The TikTok debate is really the first major exploration of the issues and what the future will look like for social media.

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