Fully 84% of voters want the U.S. government to take action to address the privacy and security threats posed by the popular video-sharing app TikTok – up to, and including, banning the social media platform entirely, according to a new Harvard-Harris poll.
Meanwhile, the Biden Administration is courting the help of TikTok influencers to promote its propaganda, as part of a digital communications strategy.
More than a third (35%) of registered voters want the use of TikTok banned in the U.S. “on the grounds of privacy and security concerns,” the national survey, conducted May 17-18, reveals.
Another third (33%) of voters want TikTok banned, unless “the application undergoes regular security reviews of its code base,” while one in six say it should be allowed only if the app’s Chinese owners sell their stakes in it.
Just 16% think the use of TikTok in the U.S. should continue to be allowed without any conditions.
Registered Democrats (21%) are more likely to say TikTok should remain unrestricted and less likely to want it banned (29%) than are all voters, taken together.
On Wednesday, Montana became the first state in the U.S. to ban the operation of TikTok. The law, which bans the sale of the app, but does not punish its use, will take effect on January 1, 2024.
Nearly half (47%) of U.S. voters view TikTok unfavorably. Fewer (39%) view it favorably, giving TikTok a net-negative (-8) favorability rating. In contrast, Facebook, Twitter, Google, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC all enjoy net-positive ratings.
Three percent (3%) of voters call TikTok their “principal source of news information.”
During a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Thursday, lawmakers grilled TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew about concerns that American TikTok users were being spied on by the Chinese government, and that the video platform was allowing content promoting violence against Americans.
Asked if TikTok’s parent company had “spied on American citizens,” Chew said that he wouldn’t describe the use of Americans’ private information as spying.
I just pressed TikTok’s CEO about whether or not the Chinese Communist Party has access to U.S. user data.— U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (@boblatta) March 23, 2023
He ADMITTED China has access to U.S. data. This should serve as a wake up call and alarm every single American. pic.twitter.com/qmEVEkSrvT