MidReal Story

Social Media Standoff: Taylor's Ultimatum

Scenario: Taylor Swift: If TikTok Is Banned, I Will Leave the U.S.
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Taylor Swift: If TikTok Is Banned, I Will Leave the U.S.
I can’t believe this is happening.
I’m so frustrated right now, I don’t even know what to do with myself.
I’ve been sitting here for the past hour, trying to figure out how to put my feelings into words, but I just can’t.
So, I’m going to do what I do best: write a song about it.
But first, I need to get this off my chest.
I can’t believe that the United States is even considering banning TikTok.
It’s one of the most popular social media apps in the world right now and has brought so many people together during this time of social distancing.
Not only that, but it’s given a voice to so many people who wouldn’t have had one otherwise.
And now they want to take that away from us?
I’m sorry, but that’s just not right.
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If TikTok is banned in the U.S., I will be leaving this country and never coming back.
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And I know that I’m not the only one who feels this way.
So let’s make our voices heard and show them that we won’t go down without a fight!
I’m at a loss for words right now.
I sat down in my living room over an hour ago to write a song about this, but it’s like my brain is frozen and I can’t think straight.
I don’t know what to do.
I don’t know how to put my feelings into words.
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How do they expect me to go on without TikTok?
It’s been a huge part of my life for the past year, and it’s helped me connect with so many people during this time of social distancing.
Without it, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself.
I’m so frustrated right now.
I want to scream and shout and cry and throw things all at the same time.
But instead, I’m just sitting here, stewing in my own thoughts and feelings, trying to come to terms with the fact that my favorite social media app might be taken away from me.
I can’t believe this is happening.
I can’t believe that anyone would even consider taking away something that brings so much joy to so many people.
I can already feel tears welling up in my eyes, but I refuse to let them fall.
I’m not going to cry over an app, no matter how much it means to me.
But I can’t just sit here and do nothing, either.
So, I take a deep breath, pull out my phone, open TikTok, and hit record.
Maybe talking about how I feel will help.
Or maybe it won’t.
But regardless of the outcome, at least I’ll be doing something instead of just sitting here.
Hi, everyone, it’s Taylor!
I just found out that the United States is thinking about banning TikTok, and I want to talk about it because I’m really upset right now.
TikTok has been such a big part of my life over the past year, and it’s helped me connect with so many people during this time of social distancing.
And it’s given so many people a voice who wouldn’t have had one otherwise.
I just don’t understand why they would want to take that away.
I love this country, but if TikTok is banned here, then maybe we should all move to a country that values free speech more.
My video goes live, and within seconds, people start commenting.
They’re all saying the same thing I am: they can’t believe that the U.S.is even thinking about banning TikTok.
But as the comments keep coming in, I start to realize something.
It’s not just me who feels this way.
A lot of people are upset about it too.
They’re frustrated and scared, and they feel like their voices are being silenced.
And in a way, they are.
If TikTok is banned in the United States, then millions of people will lose their platform for free expression.
And that’s not right.
That’s not what the First Amendment is about.
That’s not what America is about.
And I’m not going to stand for it.
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My hands are shaking as I scroll through the comments on my video, and my chest feels tight as my brain swirls with emotion.
This isn’t right.
This isn’t fair.
This can’t happen.
I’m feeling so many things right now that I can hardly keep track of them all, but there’s one thing I know for sure: I have to do something about this.
So, I pull out my phone again and hit record on a new TikTok video.
“Hi, guys,” I say as soon as I see the little red light on my phone screen turn on.“So… I’ve been reading your comments on my last video, and I agree with you all 100 percent.It’s ridiculous that anyone would even consider banning TikTok in the United States.And if they’re going to do something like that, then maybe we should all move to a country that values free speech more.Somewhere that actually cares about the rights of its citizens.Somewhere that won’t take away our voices.” The words tumble out of my mouth faster than my brain can process them, and before I even realize what I’m saying, it’s too late.
“If the U.S.bans TikTok,” I say, my voice rising with every word,
“then I’ll leave this country and never come back!”
I let out a frustrated huff as the video ends, my mind still reeling from everything that just came out of my mouth in the span of a few seconds.
That wasn’t what I meant to say!
I was just trying to make a point about how important free speech is, and now people are going to think that I’m threatening to move away if TikTok is banned!
That’s not true at all!
America is my home!
I would never abandon my fans or turn my back on the country that has given me so much!
But before I can take the video down or try to explain myself in another one, the comments start rolling in again, this time with a new hashtag at the end:
#SaveTikTok
My heart sinks as I realize that I’ve only made things worse with my last video, but there’s nothing I can do about it now.
The damage is done.
I’ve made my bed and now I have to lie in it.
And who knows?
Maybe I’ll get lucky and people will assume I was being sarcastic.
So I sigh and try to put it out of my mind as I scroll through the comments on my video and heart as many of them as I can.
They’re all calling for me to take action—to stand up for what I believe in and fight for the rights of all people in this country—and I can’t ignore that call.
I have to do something to help.
But what?
I don’t know where to start or what to do or who to turn to for help.
I’m just a pop star with a phone and too many feelings right now.
But then, as if by some miracle from above or a stroke of luck from the universe, my phone lights up with a text from an old acquaintance who might be able to help me out.
“Hey Taylor,” it reads.
“I just saw your video about TikTok and wanted to know if you’d be interested in collaborating on a campaign to fight the proposed ban.”
I raise an eyebrow as I read through his message again.
His name is Alex Chen.
He’s a tech entrepreneur and advocate for free speech.
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And according to this text, he’s got a plan that just might save TikTok.
It’s a long shot, sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
And if Alex thinks we can pull this off together, then I trust him.
I might not know him very well, but he’s never steered me wrong before.
So after a moment of thought, I send him back a quick reply that says, “Yes, I’d love to help.
What’s the plan?”
“We’re going to save TikTok,” he says with a grin.
“But first, you’re going to have to come with me.”
The words are barely out of his mouth before I find myself in Alex Chen’s office, staring at him in shock.
“How did you do that?”
He chuckles at my expression and runs a hand through his dark hair, pushing his glasses up onto his nose.
“It’s a little trick I picked up from some friends at TikTok,” he admits.
Then he leans forward in his chair and fixes me with a serious look.
“I called you here today because I need your help,” he says, his voice low and urgent.
“The situation is worse than you think it is, Taylor.
And we’re running out of time.”
I meet his gaze and raise an eyebrow.
“What kind of situation?”
Alex takes a deep breath and leans back in his chair again, looking a little drained all of a sudden.
“I’m not just an advocate for free speech,” he admits.
“I’m also a fan of TikTok.So when I saw your video earlier today, it struck a chord with me.” He pauses for a moment and takes another deep breath before he continues.
“TikTok isn’t just an app to me,” he explains softly.
“It’s a community—a place where people from all walks of life can come together to share their stories and find friends who truly understand what they’re going through.”
My heart twists in my chest as I listen to him speak—partly because my video is what brought us here in the first place, and partly because his words are so beautiful and true.
But before I can say anything in response, Alex continues on with his story, his voice growing more impassioned with every word.
“I was lonely in college,” he says.
“And TikTok was the only thing that helped me get through it.I don’t know what I would have done without it.”
It doesn’t take a genius to see where this is going or what Alex is asking of me—and after everything he’s just told me, how can I say no?
So in the end, I simply nod and say, “I’ll do whatever it takes to help you save TikTok.”
He looks relieved for a moment before something like determination flares in his eyes.
“Good,” he says with a nod.
“Because we’re going to need all the help we can get.”
I raise an eyebrow at him as my phone begins to ring in my pocket.
“Is that your plan?”
he asks with a grin.
But before I can reply or find out what he means, my phone stops ringing, and the screen lights up with a new notification that makes my eyes go wide.
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A new text message from Alex Chen: “That was just a joke,” he says quickly, holding up a hand in defense before I can even read it.
I stare at him for a moment before I hold up my phone and ask, “A joke?”
His face is slightly pink as he gestures toward the screen, and I can tell that he’s embarrassed by the text, but he won’t look away or explain himself any further.
So after a moment of thought, I decide to read it out loud for the whole world to hear: “How did you get Taylor Swift to answer your text messages?”
Alex stares at me in stunned silence as I put down my phone and raise an eyebrow at him.
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“What do you think?”
“There’s no way that’s possible,” he says immediately, looking a little pale all of a sudden.
“But you answered my text message just now,” he points out in a slightly hoarse voice, as if he can hardly believe it himself.
“I can hardly believe it myself,” I admit, remembering how shocked I was to see his name pop up on my phone screen just a few minutes ago.
Alex Chen is a tech entrepreneur and influencer who’s known for building social media platforms that have millions of users, including one of my personal favorites: the TikTok app.
And even though he doesn’t have as many followers as I do, he’s still a pretty big deal, especially among the people who are interested in tech and finance.
He’s also been involved in some pretty high-profile government hearings in the past, where he was called in to discuss antitrust investigations and the impact of major tech companies on free speech and digital rights.
And now he wants to meet with me so we can talk about the fallout from my latest viral TikTok video, which he just saw a few minutes ago.
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I stare at him in disbelief, struggling to wrap my head around what he’s asking of me.
But before I can even speak or come up with an excuse to say no, Alex holds up a hand and says, “I think you might have misunderstood what I’m trying to say here.”
“Really?” I ask, putting down my phone so that I can cross my arms over my chest and glare at him.
“Then why don’t you explain it to me instead?”
Alex looks a little pale as he meets my gaze, and I can tell that he’s struggling to find the right words as he says, “I’m not— I don’t—” He hesitates for a moment before he finally blurts out, “I’m not one of those people who go around pretending to be your friend so they can get what they want from you.”
“Then what are you doing here?”
I demand, meeting his gaze with an unimpressed look of my own.
His eyes flicker with something like guilt for a moment, and I can tell that he’s on the verge of saying something that he knows he shouldn’t.
But in the end, he simply takes a deep breath and meets my gaze with a steady look as he says, “I’m just trying to help you save TikTok.”
I stare at him in stunned silence, struggling to process what he’s saying or why he’d go out of his way to help me in the first place.
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After a moment, I pick up my phone again and gesture at the screen, which is still filled with direct messages from Alex, who is waiting impatiently for me to answer him.
Taylor Swift: Hi there!
Please let me know if this is a good time for me to call you right now?
Alex Chen: Yes, of course!
I’d be happy to talk to you about whatever it is that you want to discuss with me.
So please give me a call at your earliest convenience.
Taylor Swift: Sorry about that.
I was just getting some things ready on my end, but I should be able to call you within the next few minutes or so.
Alex Chen: No problem at all!
Please take all the time you need.
I’ll be here waiting for your call.
Taylor Swift: Thank you so much.
I really appreciate that.
And I promise I’ll make this quick!
A few minutes later, I finally take a deep breath and send him a message saying: “Sorry for the delay.I was just getting some things ready on my end, but I should be able to call you within the next few minutes or so.”
A second later, Alex responds by saying: “No problem at all!And please take all the time you need.I’ll be waiting for your call.”
I don’t know why I bother telling him that I’m going to make this quick, especially since I have a feeling that he already knows that it’s not going to be.
But I send him a message anyway, saying: “Thank you so much.I really appreciate that.And I promise I’ll make this quick!”
And then I pick up my phone and start scrolling through the rest of Alex’s messages, which is filled with links and information about the work he’s been doing recently, as well as some of the other campaigns he’s been involved in the past.
And even though I don’t have time to go through every single one of them right now, I can tell from the headlines and summaries that he’s sent me that Alex is someone who’s very much against the idea of restricting free speech online.
And apparently, he also believes that there’s something that we can do to try and stop TikTok from being banned, which is why he’s here talking to me right now.
After a moment, he sends me another message saying: “I think we both know that the video you made today was a huge mistake, and that it’s probably going to have some pretty serious repercussions for you in the future.
Which is why we need to work together to try and stop this from happening before it gets out of hand.”
I sigh and shake my head in disbelief, still trying to wrap my head around what he’s saying or why he’d go out of his way to help me in the first place.
Because in my experience, people like Alex Chen don’t just reach out to people like me out of the goodness of their own hearts—especially not when there’s nothing in it for them to gain in return.
And when someone like him does try to do something like this, it usually means that they’re just trying to use me to further their own agenda, regardless of whether or not it’s something that I actually believe in or agree with.
So even if he says that he’s here to help me save TikTok, I have a feeling that there’s something else going on here that he isn’t telling me, either because he doesn’t trust me or because he doesn’t think that he needs to, since he’s the one who reached out to me in the first place.
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But either way, I decide to humour him for now and ask him: “What exactly do you have in mind?”
And then I wait for his response, watching as the little dots appear on my screen again and then disappear, until they finally reappear one more time and he sends me a message saying: “I think we both know that we have a very unique opportunity here to try and influence public opinion before this goes any further.
And if we play our cards right, we may even be able to get some of the people in power to change their minds about what they’re planning on doing.”
“And how do you suggest we do that?”
I ask him, biting my lip and trying not to let my curiosity get the best of me and make me sound too eager or excited about what he has to say.
After all, if what Alex is saying is true and there really is something we can do to try and save TikTok, then that would be great.
And honestly, I don’t want to give him any more reason not to trust me or think that I’m somehow going to betray him in some way, either—especially not when there’s a chance for us to work together and do something about it.
And so after a moment, Alex sends me another message saying: “I think that the best way for us to do this is by working together to come up with some kind of joint campaign that we can run on our respective platforms and make sure that as many people see it as possible.
And since you have such a huge following, I think that you should be the one to take the lead and use that to your advantage to get your fans to take action and help you fight against the ban.
And then while you’re doing that, I’ll take some time to create some content that you can share with them on your profile and give them an idea of what they can do about it.”
“And what exactly do you have in mind?”
I ask him, trying to sound as though I’m not entirely convinced that what he’s saying is true or that it’s actually going to work in the first place.
But either way, it’s not like I have a better idea or any other plan for what to do next either.
So after a moment, Alex sends me a message saying: “I think that the best thing for us to do right now is for you to make a video telling people about what’s happening and why it’s so important for them to take action now before it’s too late.
And then after you post it, I’ll start working on the content for the next one and send it to you as soon as possible.”
“Okay,” I say back to him, nodding along as though I’m going along with what he’s saying and agreeing to it.
To be honest, part of me still doesn’t entirely trust him or believe that he’s being completely honest with me about his intentions or that he truly believes in what he’s saying either.
But either way, if there’s a chance for us to work together and come up with a plan that we can use to save TikTok—or whatever he thinks is going on here—then I might as well humour him and see what he has in mind anyway.
After all, it’s not like I have any better ideas or any other plans right now either.
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