Red Liberty Media and Debra Lea spoke regarding her most recent TikTok deletion. Debra Lea is known for being one of the biggest conservative voices on TikTok. Her account before deletion was @thedebralea which is also the name on her Instagram. She is one of the most popular influencers that enjoys talking about politics, feminity, modern-day feminism, and spreading the conservative message. She has faced many bannings and hate comments toward her content for multiple years. All of the other times she was banned she was angrier over them even though she knew they would lead to a banning due to the content she was posting, but her current account being permanently deleted came as a surprise.
On February 25, 2022, Debra goes to log into her account only to find that the app said the account was permanently deleted. There was no option for repeal not even that she missed the deadline. She tried downloading her data but crashed the app. She immediately contacted TikTok asking why her account was deleted and if she could have her data. It took about a week for her to even hear back from them but on March 5th she got her answer.
"I always been more about changing people's minds and getting them to question their own belief rather than reaffirming the belief I already have"
The reason for her account of 277k followers to be permanently banned was due to a "miscommunication", as Debra called it, about her age. A real person from TikTok said her account got flagged due to her being under the age of 13. Debra commented how she is 21-years-old and clearly does not look like a 13-year-old. She told them that she was not 13 and even sent a picture of her driver's license for proof. She responded both in the form and the app which said there is a 48 hour review period. It has been a few weeks with no account. She is not worried about the waiting period if she is able to get her account back due to the error or miscommunication, but she does not have her hopes high based on TikTok being unreliable.
"I don't really care about the numbers that did not crush me the most. It just crushed me that TikTok is one of my favorite platforms to be creative with my messaging...humor mixed with videos and editing is my favorite when making content"
Many people told her to pick a different platform after the bannings but she believes that "somebody has to represent conservatives over there [TikTok]". She hopes that more conservatives create similar content and be more prominent on TikTok which tends to post more of the other side of politics. Debra believes conservatives need to "break the bubble" and put their message out into the world more instead of staying in an "echo chamber" of posts that one may constantly agree with.
With all the bannings, hate comments, permanent bannings, and deleted accounts Debra is not backing down from her platform. She is continuing to post on her other TikTok which is more lifestyle-based with some humorous political videos. Debra even started her own YouTube channel under her name Debra Lea and even has a podcast. Her perseverance shows she does not ever want to stop creating some content based on her conservative beliefs even if TikTok does not give her account back.