Mar 14, 2024 - News

The Utah TikTok stars in the crosshairs of a pending U.S. ban of the app

Illustration of the TikTok logo being pulled away by a cane

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

A TikTok ban that's pending in Congress could throw Utah's famously-outsized social media/influencer scene into a lurch.

The latest: The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill to force China-based ByteDance to sell TikTok or face a ban in the U.S.

The big picture: The Senate appears to be more ambivalent about the measure.

  • But the House's speedy vote came as a surprise, so the measure may have more support than previously thought.
  • President Biden has said he will sign the legislation if Congress passes it.

Reality check: If the law passes, it will face legal challenges.

  • That would give ByteDance time before they have to sell or shut down TikTok in the U.S.

Here are some of the big Utah Tiktokers who could be affected if the ban takes effect:

Ryan Bean: St. George's most daring son is the Renaissance man of extreme sports, flying high on skateboards, bikes and his own two feet.

Anna Frey: A teen tennis phenom from Farmington, Frey went mega-viral a few months ago when another TikToker filmed her bleating like a goat and the rest of the internet decided she resembled NFL quarterback Brock Purdy.

That Keith Family: A Diné family in San Juan County has amassed nearly a half-million followers with peeks into family teasing, kids' sports and Indigenous American life in the 2020s.

Jaycie Memmott: Known as @jaycie_nicole, Memmott rose to fame with lip-sync and comedy videos. She's from Salem and splits her time between Utah and L.A.

Jordan Schmidt: His observations and memories of Salt Lake are a lot of fun and hyper-local.

  • Basically, if you like Axios Salt Lake, you'll probably like Jordan's TikTok.

Aubree Jones: The Orem mother of six is a key Utah "momfluencer," with 1.9 million followers.

Black Menaces: The BYU sensation is still going strong with person-on-street interviews about race, politics and culture in a predominantly-white community.

Western Water Girl: Not strictly a Utah account, but the water policy analysis is eye-opening for any of us who live high and dry in the Mountain West.

Salt Lake Goldens: The dog breeder posts puppies, puppies and more puppies — for an audience of 2.6 million.

Maliyah Herrin: The Davis County nail tech brings the beauty content — and shares how she navigates work and life as a former conjoined twin who has one leg.

Bárbara Rodríguez: Her parenting videos and product recs take Utah influencer-dom to Spanish-language audiences.

Trevon: The recent Timpanogos High School grad posts short "fit checks" — pivots on camera for the audience's fashion appraisal — with his friends.

  • Yes, this is a thing, and yes, they frequently net hundreds of thousands of views.

Halle Sandberg: More than a million people follow Halle through her fashion and cosmetics advice and college adventures at UVU.

Kendall Rodriguez: The "Queen of SLC" posts about fun things to do, from cheap date nights to skijoring.


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