TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Victoria Urso is a sophomore at the University of Tampa with more than 57,000 TikTok followers.
She told News Channel 8 she uses her TikTok account to promote a healthy lifestyle and her college campus.
“I think this is definitely my creative outlet,” Urso said. “I mean I just love sitting in bed editing my day in the life video and then posting it the next day brings me so much joy.”
For Tampa real estate agent Kseniya Korneva, TikTok has become a tool to grow her business and connect with potential clients.
“I do my own listings, I do neighborhoods, I do tips for buyers, sellers,” Korneva said.
Korneva and Urso are among the more than 150 million TikTok users in the U.S. watching to see if Congress or the Biden Administration moves to ban the popular social media platform.
On Capitol Hill Thursday, TikTok’s CEO Show Zi Chew tried to reassure lawmakers that the social media platform is safe and secure.
“American data is stored on American soil by an American company overseen by American personnel,” Chew said.
During the five-hour hearing, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee raised concerns about privacy for Americans’ data and TikTok’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
“Your platform should be banned,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington) said.
“Big tech has turned the internet into an information super highway into a superspreader of harmful content,” Rep. Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey) said.
Both of the TikTok users from Tampa who spoke with News Channel 8 said lawmakers should leave the popular platform alone.
“If we ban TikTok, what is next in banning,” Korneva said, “so it kind of opens the floodgates. Like nobody would like to get rid of all social media.”
“For everyone, it offers something different,” Urso said, “and for what it offers me, I really would be upset if I had to live a life without TikTok.”
Last week the Biden administration offered an ultimatum to the Chinese owners of Tik Tok, either sell their stakes or be banned.
NBC News reports that the Chinese government responded by saying it would oppose a forced sale.