Potential TikTok ban worries local influencers


What's next for the Hurley Boys?

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Social media is buzzing with questions after the Trump Administration said this week it’s looking at banning a popular video sharing app.

To Hootie and Sam Hurley, TikTok is more than an app.

“TikTok pays my bills, TikTok gave me my career, and Tiktok has opened so many doors for me and my family,” said Hootie.

Recently, the brothers say it’s been a bright light in the middle of these dark times.

“These 15 second videos, they don’t seem like much to the common eye,” said Hootie. “But to a majority of high school and college students, it’s some of the only joy they get throughout their day.”

So while the Hurley boys work to pump out content, the Trump Administration works to possibly ban the app.

“With respect to TikTok, I want to put it in the broader context,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “What you’ll see the administration do is take actions that preserve and protect that information and deny the Chinese communist party to the private information that belongs to Americans.”

Sam Hurley said, “I have over 1,000 videos and it’s super scary to think that all these thousands of hours are just going to be done. Like, within an instant.”

Lawmakers including Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton have said the China-based company ByteDance, who owns the app, poses a national security risk to the U.S.

Cotton even sent a letter last year to the Director of National Intelligence.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Metcalf said, “I think one of the questions could be, what is China doing with this info? It can adapt TikTok to what people like and include in that ads. Or, include certain videos, certain other features that it has targeted to make people think a certain way.”

Metcalf said most social media apps collect data without you knowing, so the best thing to do is be weary of the information you’re submitting when creating an account.

In the Hurley household, security means watching what they post.

“My address, license plate numbers, phone numbers, stuff like that. Those are all very important to keep to yourself and keep to your family,” said Hootie.

Moving forward, the boys hope to move to other platforms to stay connected to their fans— just in case.

“It’s kind of like a wake-up call saying get some backup things going,” said Sam. “Move into YouTube, move into whatever because you never know what’s going to happen with this or other social medias.”

Hootie said, “If TikTok goes away, Tiktokers… We’re not going to disappear.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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