Users throughout TikTok feared a ban was looming when their videos suddenly had zero likes across the platform and people feared TikTok was down.
omg…. all likes across tiktok just dropped to zero 👀 ARE WE GETTIN BANNED Y’ALL LMAO
— eleanor (@snitchery) July 9, 2020
However, it was possible that TikTok was just briefly down. A message from TikTok support seemed to indicate it was a technical issue being worked on, not the U.S. government banning the app.
“Hi TikTok community! We’re aware that some users are experiencing app issues – working to quickly fix things, and we’ll share updates here!” TikTok support wrote on Twitter on July 9.
Hi TikTok community! We're aware that some users are experiencing app issues – working to quickly fix things, and we'll share updates here!
— TikTokSupport (@TikTokSupport) July 9, 2020
Sure enough some people were soon reporting that their likes were back.
TikTok is back!!!
— Joey🏳️🌈 (@mysidejoe) July 9, 2020
TIKTOK IS BACKKKK ITS JUST A GLITCH BUT IF IT GETS BANNED IM GONNA CRY
— 𝖈𝖍𝖑𝖔𝖊⁰⁷ || I LOVE LOUIS (@imapotato07) July 9, 2020
Daily Mail reported that tens of thousands of TikTok users were having the problem through both the United States and the United Kingdom. People flooded to Twitter to report that they had zero likes on their videos and to fret about a possible ban.
Some users still had likes recorded next to their profile name but not on their videos. The site DownDetector, which tracks social media outage, showed a major spike in TikTok problem reports starting around 2 p.m. ET on July 8.
Others took to Twitter to assure people it was just a glitch and the government wasn’t taking down TikTok.
GUYS TIKTOK ISNT DEAD LOL I TALKED TO THEM ITS A GLITCH CALM DOWN
— madi (@madimonroe) July 9, 2020
Here’s what you need to know:
The U.S. Secretary of State Has Raised Governmental Concerns About TikTok
— wes bird (@nkotbfan_1988) July 9, 2020
The idea that TikTok could be banned has a basis in reality. According to CNN, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States was ‘looking at’ banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps. He said “especially TikTok” when discussing apps the U.S. might target for banning, adding, “we’re taking this very seriously,” CNN reported.
That came after TikTok users were blamed for reserving online tickets resulting in lower attendance at President Donald Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally.
Pompeo made the comments to Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura. I don’t want to get out in front of the President [Donald Trump], but it’s something we’re looking at,” he said.
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is headquartered in China. The company has denied being a governmental security threat to America. TikTok spokesperson Hilary McQuaide told TechCrunch: “We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked. “We do not and have not removed any content at the request of the Chinese government, and would not do so if asked.”
TikTok Users Thought a Ban Was Imminent When Their Likes Zeroed Out
— lily (@blinklilies00) July 9, 2020
The hashtags #savetiktok, #tiktokban and #tiktokdown trended on Twitter on July 9.
“6 year old daughter is currently freaking out that TikTok is not working. #TikTokBan As a parent I find it hilarious, her, not so much. #whoops,” one woman wrote.
“@tiktok_us what’s happening right now??? Is it a glitch or are y’all really getting banned????#TiktokBan,” wrote another.
Here are some of the other reactions:
my sister woke me up scared for her life that tiktok was getting banned😡😡 bye im going back to sleep#tiktokban
— ador¡a | blm!!! (@adoriella) July 9, 2020
Wait tiktok is down? #tiktokdown
— Your local Multistan! (@AtinyEmilie) July 9, 2020