UK social media expert talks about the national impact of TikTok

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 3:34 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The end of the popular app TikTok in the United States may be on hold, for now.

President Donald Trump originally suggested banning the Chinese-owned platform because of possible security risks.

The now 2-year-old app came out of another app called ‘Musically’, and was purchased by is its current owner, the Chinese company, Bytedance.

The free app is known for its popular dances and funny home videos and, for some people, it’s a pandemic obsession.

“You’re never really disappointed when you get on,” said TikTok user Caroline Meister.

With dog videos, dances and original songs, UK journalism associate professor Kakie Urch says it’s a platform full of mini filmmakers.

“TikTok has green screen capabilities, it has editing capabilities, it has capabilities to mix sound and lipsync,” Urch said.

Just like Twitter or Facebook, she’s teaching her students how to use it for good.

“It’s a platform that allows people who are outside the bounds of traditional media to really have a large platform,” Urch said.

TikTok is also a place where people show their vulnerable side and engage in deep conversations.

“We have several people who are gynecologists giving out information to perhaps young female viewers about what they need to know about their body and safety,” Urch said.

“They answer questions that people ask, I think that’s awesome,” said TikTok user Avery Allen.

TikTok can also be the epicenter of change.

“A young woman, I believe in Chicago, did a TikTok about making racist pancakes with Aunt Jemima,” Urch said. “That medium was the first place that conversation really began in earnest.”

“You see it from a different perspective, see it from other people’s perspective which is really nice,” Meister said.

From 60 minutes to 60-second clips, TikTok is where the younger generation is starting a dialogue.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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