Over the last few years, and especially since the COVID-19 pandemic gave many of us a lot more free time, TikTok has become one of the leading social media apps worldwide. Today, following talk of the United States officially banning the service, likes and view counts have disappeared from the TikTok app, but a fix is on the way.

Suffice it to say 2020 has been filled with its challenges, and one of the ways that humanity has always managed to overcome adversity is through entertainment. The latest challenge is now directly targeting TikTok, with the Wall Street Journal reporting earlier this week that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the United States was “looking into” banning TikTok for its connections to China.

Fast forward to today, the hashtag “#riptiktok” has begun trending on Twitter with thousands reporting that the TikTok app has begun behaving bizarrely. The most obvious issue is that every video’s view counts and likes have been deleted, while others note that the content they’re seeing on the TikTok homepage seems “weird” as though the recommendation algorithm was malfunctioning.

TikTok issued a statement on Twitter that they’re “working to quickly fix things,” signaling that the issue is not related to the discussion of a US ban. We’ll be keeping an eye out for those updates and share them here as things develop.

Update 12:45: According to TikTok Support, the app should begin to return to normal shortly.

Update 12:50: We’ve confirmed on our own devices that TikTok’s like and view counts have returned to most videos, meaning the fix has begun rolling out to TikTok’s servers.

As you would expect, before the statement was issued, TikTok fans around the world were freaking out, taking the disappearing likes and views as a signal of the app’s impending demise. Some on Twitter were suggesting to back up your favorite videos in case this truly was the end of TikTok, while most were simply venting their frustration in the most sensible medium β€” memes.


Thanks Max!

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Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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