The TikTok Glitch That Made Influencers Freak Out

On July 9, 2020, TikTok users noticed that the app was a bit off. All videos on the app showed 0 views and 0 likes — no matter how many likes/views they’d achieved in the past. Mysteriously, the comments on videos remained. While social media apps glitch all the time, the timing of this particular glitch was off-putting, as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently commented on the possibility of banning TikTok from the United States altogether. Naturally, the TikTok influencers kind of lost it.

How are influencers responding to the TikTok glitch?

The logo of the social media video-sharing app TikTok | LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images

On July 9, several TikTok stars went on TikTok Live to encourage fans to follow them on Instagram and YouTube, after noting that their videos were missing views and likes.

Melissa Ong, who goes by @chunkysdead, is the leader of the “TikTok cult” known as the Step Chickens. She went Live, using part of her time to sing in an Elmo voice (because of course she did). Ong noted that this glitch felt similar to when Vine got shut down. She placated her “cult” followers by letting them know she’d continue on YouTube.

User @chakiraclark, who has almost a million followers on TikTok, also went Live, saying “I don’t know if there’s gonna be anymore TikTok.” She also recommended fans save her TikTok videos to their phones.

TikTok influencer @ladyefron told adoring fans: “I will make a YouTube. Love you all. We’ll be OK.”

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While many influencers, including the mega-popular @snarkymarky went live on the app, no one seemed to know what was going on.

“Rest in peace TikTok,” another popular TikToker said on Live. “Maybe it’s just a glitch, but … why, though?”

Is the popular social media video-sharing app getting banned from the U.S.?

This glitch comes just days after U.S. politicians began openly discussing shutting down the site.

According to CNN:

The United States is ‘looking at’ banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.

TikTok | AFP via Getty Images

During a segment on Laura Ingraham’s FOX News program, Pompeo told the host: “we’re taking this very seriously.”

“With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura,” the Secretary of State emphasized. “I don’t want to get out in front of the President [Donald Trump], but it’s something we’re looking at.”

Much of the decision-making comes to the fact that TikTok is a Chinese app. Pompeo warned that you should only use TikTok “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.” However, a spokesperson for TikTok disagreed.

“TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the US,” they said in a statement to CNN. They continued:

We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.

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Influencers remain calm, the TikTok glitch is already fixed

Within about an hour of the glitch starting, some users noted that TikTok was normal again. TikTok Support tweeted on their account:

“Hi TikTok community! We’re aware that some users are experiencing app issues – working to quickly fix things, and we’ll share updates here!”

One TikToker shared the tweet in a video, laughing at herself, saying: “we are so dramatic.”

So, maybe all the panicked Lives were for nothing. But still, influencers are looking out for the app to be banned any time now. After all, it happened in India.

“Well, that was a fun little glitch just now,” Ong, AKA @chunkysdead, said in a new TikTok video. “Personally, I am grateful for the 20 minutes of chaos that we all just collectively experienced.”