Metro Detroit TikTok influencer family waits, watches for possible app ban

As millions of Americans wait and see if the US Senate will discuss and vote on the bill to "ban" Tiktok, local families like the McCartys are keeping a close eye on this move affects how their next move.

"It’s super important because this is what supports our family, and if this shuts down, it would definitely have an impact," said Kevin McCarty.

Kevin and Stephanie McCarty — along with their children — are content creators with more than six million followers on TikTok.

Months ago, we visited their home - which is more like a TV film studio.

Kevin’s videos gained popularity during the pandemic, and helped him go from social studies teacher to partnerships with brand names.

It has now evolved into a family business, as mom — Stephanie — doesn’t have to travel as much.

"Now we get to be with our kids," Stephanie said. "I get to be a better mom because I’m actually here. That's a big deal and it's really hard - now we get to have fun with it and laugh with our kids."

This week, a bi-partisan effort by the US House voted overwhelmingly to pass legislation for TikTok parent company ByteDance — which is based in China — to sell its platform due to security and mental health concerns.

The members who voted "yes" include Michigan representatives Debbie Dingell, Shri Thanedar, and John James who explained his vote in this video.

"This, again, is no ban but we’re protecting American interest by saying, ‘CCP, if you want to continue to put poison into our minds, you can’t do that,'" said James in an online video. "And if TikTok wants to continue to operate, then it needs to be sold by ByteDance to ... I don’t know, a company that doesn’t want to see our demise."

John Patterson is co-founder of Random Agency, which studies social media trends.

"I think the worry is that there is a national security risk baked into ByteDance being able to access that data - for example, our location data," he said. "And what that means for how they could interfere with an election, manipulate government officials."

Patterson believes if Bytedance doesn't sell and TikTok is removed from America, those content creators will fine a new home on another platform.

"Good stories are always going to find a way to be told. And those creators are really smart and savvy," Patterson said.

"If something were to happen, we’re going to be okay," Stephanie. "There are things that will be lost, and I do worry about the butterfly effect with something like that."

"I think, as far as I’m concerned with the content as a creator and a provider for our family, it’s right now, stay the course and keep on doing what you’re doing and also see how this plays out at the same time," Kevin said.

For now, the McCartys will keep making videos - and encourage people to keep scrolling.