CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA — In an effort to fend off a regulatory slap and being banned in the United States by President Donald Trump, TikTok has officially changed its name to “COVID-19.”
“He ignores COVID-19. He doesn’t ignore us,” TikTok Jr. Deputy Spokesperson Cheryl Terwilliger told reporters today, “so, it’s really not much more complicated than that. We want the president to leave our private company alone, and clearly since Republicans don’t actually care about the free market anymore, we were left with fewer and fewer options to get him off our jocks.”
While there is a general consensus that TikTok’s relationship to the Chinese government opens itself up to all sorts of questions about the protection and privacy of user data, many observers have wondered why it’s become the focus of so much concentrated ire from the commander in chief. The country is currently being battered by an out of control pandemic, but Trump has seemed to focus on and tweet just as much about TikTok — an app that lets users record and upload short video clips — than he has on the coronavirus of late, which Ms. Terwilliger said is exactly why the decision was made to change the company’s name.
“We are more than willing to have discussions with the U.S. government about any data privacy concerns they may have,” Terwilliger explained further, “however we do feel it’s unfair to be banned because the president thinks we’re too close to China, when he can’t seem to push people out of the way fast enough to kiss President Xi’s ass himself. It’s all very confusing, but those are the times we live in, we suppose.”
When word first broke that Trump planned to ban TikTok, Terwilliger says execs at the company floated several ways to get the administration to back off. Some of those ideas were tried, and others weren’t. Ms. Terwilliger gave everyone some examples of things TikTok tried before resorting at corporate name change.
“Initially, we tried just deleting all the posts from Kellyanne Conway’s daughter that made fun of her mom or the president,” Terwilliger said, “but that didn’t seem to appease the administration. Then, we tried agreeing to let them change our name to TikiTok, so that his base would like us, but they just stole that idea for themselves. We were really at our wits’ end until we realized how much he doesn’t want to talk about or do anything with COVID-19 if he doesn’t really have to.”
As the U.S. coronavirus death toll climbed, Terwilliger says she and her fellow executives grew more confident in their plan to change their company name to COVID-19. They understood the risk involved with naming themselves after a deadly virus that has ravaged families and economies worldwide. However, they “knew deep down,” Terwilliger said, that there were “still far worse names out there to consider.”
“At least we’d still not be called Trump App or Trump Tok or anything with his name on it,” Terwilliger said, “because that would almost certainly mean we’d be out of business in less than a year. So, COVID-19 it is. Being in any kind of business has its risks anyway; so we’ll consider this name change to be just one of those risks we take every day.”
The White House has not responded to this development.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.