The Quint’s Newsletter: Love to Hate TikTok? This is For You

TikTok puts fame within reach for everyone. YouTube, on the other hand, invites the privileged to create content.

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You really can’t ignore TikTok, can you?
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The Quint’s Newsletter: Love to Hate TikTok? This is For You

You really can't ignore TikTok, can you? It's so wildly popular that it has featured in family chat groups, news, and even a Bollywood film – remember Yami Gautam as a TikToker in Bala?

That brings me to the cheer the pandemic was for the amateur, 15-second video-sharing app owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance. At the end of April, TikTok hit 2 billion downloads, with India leading the chart.

But then, the downside, too, has been of utmost concern. TikTok’s problem child – fake news – grew in tandem with the rising COVID-19 cases in India (which now stands at 1 lakh). It is so bad that at the behest of the Indian government's order, TikTok has now vowed to remove any videos that 'deceive the public'.

As TikTok found recently, that wasn’t the end to their flip side. As its soaring popularity gave sleepless nights to YouTube (with the latter planning a video platform 'Shorts' to take on TikTok in its own game), there's now the whole YouTube versus TikTok.

ICYMI, watch this:

Of course, it's a case of cyberbullying. But in the case of TikTok, the problem of attacking their users goes beyond this. It'’s not just queerphobia, it’s a mainstream classist disdain against TikTok and its users – and that isn't new. TikTok stars know of this reality, as The Quint found out in its conversations with them in a 2019 report.

And why do people love to hate TikTok so much?

The reason for it is both complex, and simple: TikTok puts fame within reach for everyone. College studs and construction workers. Delhi boys and Akola girls. Fashion models and domestic helps.

The Quint’s Newsletter: Love to Hate TikTok? This is For You

The pandemic may have turned us into an imagined community – what with the lockdowns and curbs – but it has wiped the steam off our glasses, making clearer than ever our fears, insecurities, and unchecked prejudices. #Metoomigrant was no shocker, neither is YouTube vs TikTok.

SHELLY WALIA
Senior Editor, News and Podcasts
@shellywalia

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