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  • Writer's pictureClaudio Fibonacci

The Uncertain Future of TikTok: Is the Popular App on the Verge of Disappearing?

Is TikTok as We Know It About to Disappear?

Is TikTok as We Know It About to Disappear?

Have you suddenly found that you can no longer hear the audio in your favorite TikToks? Well, you’re not alone. Below, get up to speed on the latest issues plaguing the social media platform, and what this week’s Senate hearings—and a conflict with Universal—could mean for TikTok going forward.

Which musicians’ songs are no longer available on TikTok?

Universal Music Group, the mega-company responsible for the release of music from artists including Taylor Swift, Drake, U2, and Ariana Grande, published an open letter on Tuesday titled “Why We Must Call Time Out on TikTok.” It noted the importance of, among other things, “appropriate compensation for our artists and songwriters, protecting human artists from the harmful effects of AI, and online safety for TikTok’s users.”

  1. AI has already become a major source of labor concerns in Hollywood and publishing.

  2. Universal has accused TikTok of “allowing the platform to be flooded with AI-generated recordings”.

When did TikTok officially go silent?

On Thursday morning, TikTok confirmed that it had removed music by Universal artists from its platform. Meanwhile, existing videos using that music were muted entirely.

Has TikTok responded to Universal’s big move?

TikTok released a statement of their own on Tuesday that said, in part: “Despite Universal’s false narrative and rhetoric, the fact is they have chosen to walk away from the powerful support of a platform with well over a billion users that serves as a free promotional and discovery vehicle for their talent.”

Why was TikTok mentioned in Senate hearings this week?

TikTok was one of a number of apps whose CEOs were called to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the topic of child safety. The app’s CEO was questioned about ties to China and the platform’s safety measures.

Where does TikTok go from here?

A first-of-its-kind state ban on TikTok was recently blocked, indicating that legal challenges against TikTok might not fare well. Users will have to adapt to a version of TikTok without music from their favorite artists.

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