Whether you believe that TikTok is good or bad, one Idaho couple has gone on record with their love for the social media platform. If you're unfamiliar with TikTok, it is a social media app about short videos. Think Facebook Reels or Instagram Stories.

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Why is TikTok so controversial?

The app is controversial because its parent company, ByteDance, is based in Bejing, China. Theoretically, ByteDance could one day be required to turn over all of its data to the Chinese government. That could lead to the misuse of the data to influence Americans, especially the young Americans with whom the app is most popular. TikTok has said that they do not share their information with the government, and they are also trying to lessen concerns by moving data from American users to servers in Texas.

Isn't TikTok banned in Idaho?

Idaho and other states have banned TikTok. But how can you ban a social media app? Well, it isn't easy. The app is blocked on wifi networks owned by the state. This includes college campuses but doesn't include K-12 campuses. There's also nothing anyone can do to prevent it from being used on your phone using cellular data, which is how it is mainly used anyway.

How is TikTok fighting the bad publicity it is receiving?

Recently, TikTok has been on a goodwill campaign doing television commercials about how their platform is being used for good all over the United States. The latest one of their "TikTok Sparks Good" commercials features Dana Bellefeuille, who owns the Village Bakery with her husband in Hayden. The spot shows how the bakery uses TikTok to attract customers and recruit employees. It also shows how they have impacted the community by hiring those with disabilities.

TikTok Sparks Good
TikTok Sparks Good

How did the Village Bakery become involved with adults with disabilities?

Dana's advocacy began when her daughter was born ten weeks early and has a form of cerebral palsy, and her son is autistic. The videos they post on their page showcase their employees and unique abilities. Each generates hundreds and thousands of likes and thousands of views, helping the business grow awareness and create a community.

TikTok Sparks Good
TikTok Sparks Good

You can watch the 30-second version below, whether or not you have a TikTok account.  You can watch the full version HERE.

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Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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