BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Utah mom fears loss of followers and income if TikTok sold

Mar 22, 2024, 7:00 PM | Updated: Mar 29, 2024, 4:43 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Legislation moving through Congress would require TikTok’s owner to sell the app. But, a Utah mom and content creator fears the move could cost her money and followers.

On March 13, the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed a bill — 352-to-65 — that would ban the wildly popular app, TikTok, if its owner, Beijing-based parent company ByteDance, doesn’t sell its share in the social media platform within six months.

Some House members say ByteDance has links to the Chinese Communist Party — something denied by ByteDance, according to the BBC.

The bill now moves to the Senate where it may encounter an uphill slog.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York was noncommittal about bringing it up for a vote, saying in a one-line statement that the Senate “will review the legislation when it comes over from the House,” as reported by CBS News.

Meanwhile, critics of the legislation say it stymies free speech and could be a hardship on businesses, employees and families who count on TikTok to generate revenue.

Utah TikTok creator and mom Maurissa Ashby-Faulkner speaks to KSL NewsRadio about what would happen to her primary source of income — TikTok — if it disappeared.

Utah TikTok creator says it’s a full-time job

Faulkner said passage of the House bill is the closest that federal lawmakers have come to eliminating TikTok. But she said if that happens, she would likely move her content to Instagram and YouTube. She also said abolishing TikTok could cost her her followers, which number about 49,000.

Faulkner said a video she created on TikTok has brought in $6,000 and is still generating money for her.

@helloitsmaurissa The singing immediately following the trauma 😭😭 #happybirthday ♬ Creepy and simple horror background music(1070744) – howlingindicator

 “When it was first blowing up, I remember I would check it every morning. I would wake up and just see how much it made that night,” she said. “And yeah, it’s crazy, and I just got paid on that video I think this past week.”

Faulkner said her role as a content creator is difficult because it demands so much time.

“I try to post at least once a day — sometimes even multiple times a day — and it is a ton of work. It’s honestly exhausting. Especially as a mom and having a life outside of content creation and influencing,” she said. “It’s something that you’re doing on top of your daily life. It’s a full-time job.”

But she quickly added that her job is still fun, rewarding and worth the effort for the money it can pay.

“I prefer to do it over anything else that I’ve done in the past,” Faulkner said.

As far as the Chinese Communist Party possibly collecting data on Faulkner and her family, she said she is not especially concerned. However, she said there is an aspect of the TikTok app that’s unsettling.

“I know that there’s a lot that the app does to — I guess read your mind in a sense,” she said. “You’ll be talking about something with your phone around and you’ll open TikTok and that very specific topic will be the first video in your feed. It’s a little bit creepy sometimes, but kind of useful.”

TikTok influencers and creators’ salary

NeoReach’s 2023 Creator Earnings and Insights Industry Report takes a closer look at the typical salary for influencers and content creators:

Here’s the breakdown from the survey:

  • 48% earned less than $15,000.
  • 9% earned between $15,000 and $25,000.
  • 7% earned between $25,000 and $35,000.
  • 5% earned between $35,000 and $50,000.
  • 11% earned between $50,000 and $75,000.
  • 5% earned between $75,000 and $100,000.
  • 6% earned between $100,000 and $150,000.
  • 7% earned $200,000 or more.

Related: Addicted to TikTok? Here’s what the House vote to effectively ban it could mean for you


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

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Utah mom fears loss of followers and income if TikTok sold