Inside All the Drama Swirling Around TikTok

“When I’m listening to the politics of it,” Gagliese explained, “there’s almost a slight ignorance toward the size of that market. For a lot of people who aren’t familiar with this generation, they still might have the connotation of, ‘Well, it’s just kids making stuff on social, they’ll figure it out and move on,’ or ‘Ah, it’s silly anyway, what’s an influencer?’ And that’s not productive when you think about the magnitude of what’s going on here.”

A TikTok Chew posted a day after the hearing amassed 5.3 million likes and more than 193,000 comments. Kat Clark, a reigning TikTok Creator of the Year, left heart emojis, while Ophelia, aka “Shoe Lover 99” (11.4 million followers), remarked, “They treated you terribly and I’m so sorry.” 

“You’re the best and tiktok is the only reason I get to travel the world so much,” wrote Jorden Tually, who has 3.3 million users following his globetrotting exploits. “Parenting Unexpert” Momma Cusses, who shares her life with 3.3 million followers, wrote, “Thank [sic] for putting up with the inept and inane questions. You handled yourself so well.”

“We love our vibrant creator community, and have been overwhelmed and humbled by their support for TikTok and for Shou,” TikTok spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter told NBC News about the feedback. But, they haven’t exactly taken to the streets yet to speak their peace.

Gagliese posited to E! that the entire community—the creators and those who do business with them—is “in a weird place.”

On the one hand, he explained, people have their own personal love and use for TikTok, and on the other… there’s the minefield of politics. Which is why, from what he’s seen so far, “creators are turtling a little bit.”

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