By: Chavelle Zackery, ’23-’24 Florida Fellow 

From 2016 to now,  TikTok has emerged as more than just a platform for dance challenges, comedic skits, and a quick grab to fame. It has evolved into a vital tool for disseminating information, connecting like-minded individuals, and fostering activism on various social and environmental issues. However, with the looming threat of a ban in the United States, the potential consequences for climate awareness, environmental justice advocacy, and organizing strategies is something that needs to be addressed.

As someone who has been profoundly influenced by TikTok’s role in shaping my environmental consciousness, I can’t help but wonder about the void that would be left if the app were to no longer exist. What will happen to the vibrant community of creators and activists who use TikTok as a platform for advocacy and education? What will happen to the sharing of important news and information for the younger generations to see? How will we fill the gap in our ability to connect, learn, and organize around environmental justice issues?

TikTok has provided a unique space for individuals to access and gain knowledge on pressing issues, including climate change. One of the many reasons I decided to join OurClimate, was due to learning more about the various ways environmental changes have affected people through Tiktok. I was able to learn the different discrepancies and hardships that people across the globe and different communities were experiencing as a result of climate change and grew a wanting to learn more. 

Personally, TikTok has allowed me to step outside of my own bubble and learn and create a deep wanting to involve myself in these environmental justice spaces. With the threat of the app being taken away, it makes me wonder what will happen to this space of learning and knowledge. 

Through short, engaging videos, creators have been able to educate millions of viewers on the intricacies of environmental degradation, the urgency of climate action, and the importance of sustainability. From explaining the science behind climate change to showcasing real-world impacts, TikTok has started to play a significant role in raising awareness and fostering a sense of environmental responsibility among its users.

Moreover, TikTok has served as a hub for environmental activists and advocates to connect and collaborate. Communities dedicated to environmental justice have flourished on the platform, providing a space for individuals to share ideas, support one another, and mobilize for collective action. Whether it’s organizing clean-up efforts, promoting sustainable practices, or amplifying marginalized voices, TikTok has empowered activists to make meaningful contributions to the environmental movement.

The potential ban of TikTok in the United States threatens to sever these vital connections and erase an essential source of climate-related information and advocacy. Without access to TikTok, millions of users would lose a platform where they can easily consume educational content and engage with fellow activists. This loss could lead to a significant gap in climate awareness, particularly among younger generations who are increasingly turning to social media for information.

Furthermore, I feel as though the absence of TikTok would hinder organizing strategies within the environmental justice space. By leveraging TikTok’s reach and engagement features, activists have been able to mobilize supporters and raise funds. Losing this tool could hamper the effectiveness of advocacy efforts and slow progress towards environmental justice goals.

As we confront the existential threat of climate change and the need for justice, it is crucial to recognize the value of platforms like TikTok in driving awareness and action. Instead of resorting to bans, policymakers should seek to address legitimate concerns about data privacy and security through transparent regulations that protect users while preserving the positive aspects of social media activism.

Chavelle Zackery, (
’23-’24 Florida Fellow) is located in Tampa FL and is a recent college graduate from the University of Tampa. She studied Economics and Political Science and is going into Graduate School for the 2024-2025 school year. She is a a big ocean and animal connoisseur and loves to read and sleep.
Published On: April 6th, 2024 / Categories: Blog /