With a potential ban of TikTok in the U.S. looming, some stars from the social media platform told TMZ on Thursday the threat from President Donald Trump was revenge for their pranks. Trump claims TikTok–owned by China-based parent company ByteDance–is stealing data from American users, an accusation TikTok vehemently denies.
TikTok users, however, have a different theory about Trump’s intent to remove the app from the U.S. Many claimed responsibility for Trump’s Tulsa rally being empty, reserving seats with no intention of showing up. The prank was initiated by “TikTok Grandma” Mary Jo Laupp, who told TMZ that messing with his potential reelection led Trump to have a grudge against TikTok.
“Gen Savage” leader DeJuan Booker agreed with Laupp, and added that even if Trump bans TikTok, he won’t silence the creators. Booker alleged they’ll move to other social media platforms to attempt to derail his presidency.
Currently, TikTok is allowed to operate in the U.S. until September 15. If they’re not purchased by an American company by then, Trump claims he will ban the widely popular video app.
Booker Wants To Change The World Through His Gen Savage Movement
Trump first claimed he planned to ban TikTok on August 1, saying it would be gone by the following day. That’s when TikTok creators started to panic, with many making videos about their response to the potential ban.
In Booker’s case, he continued to restate his vision in a video titled, “Goodbye, TikTok,” which has been viewed more than 829,000 times.
“So this is it, huh? Everything that we worked for could potentially vanish just like that,” Booker says. “A lot of people don’t realize, but other creators just like myself have sacrificed everything. A lot of you don’t know this–nor do you care–but this quarantine has been a pretty rough time period for a lot of us.”
Booker says he always knew he was meant for something bigger. “You see my goal is to empower and to prove to every single person on this planet that anything in this life is possible and despite living in a corrupt society we could collectively come together and change the world,” he says.
Will TikTok Remain In The U.S.?
There’s been some confusion about whether or not TikTok will remain in the U.S. At first, Microsoft had said they were looking into buying the app, which then seemingly prompted Trump to say he would ban it within days. Trump later walked back his earlier comments and said he would be fine with TikTok remaining in the U.S. as long as it was owned by an American company.
If Microsoft agrees to purchase TikTok, it could be for as much as $30 billion or as little as $10 billion, CNBC reported. The deal will reportedly take place within the next three weeks, well ahead of Trump’s September 15 deadline. If the deal goes through, TikTok promises to transfer its code from China to the U.S. within the next year.
TikTok’s U.S. General Manager Vanessa Pappas has assured users the app plans to stay in the U.S. “I want to say thank you to the millions of Americans who use TikTok every day bringing their creativity and joy into our daily lives,” she said in a video. “We’ve heard your outpouring of support, and we want to say thank you. We’re not planning on going anywhere.”