According to a new Washington Post Poll, forty-one percent of Americans say they support the government banning TikTok. The results come as the video-sharing platform comes under increasing congressional scrutiny over user safety and data security concerns.
The Post survey found just 25 percent of Americans say they oppose a potential TikTok ban, while 34 percent say they’re unsure.
The results of the poll regarding a ban depend largely on who you ask, with users largely against banning the app. According to the findings, people who have used TikTok in the last month and daily TikTok users were less likely to support a ban, at 21 percent and 17 percent.
As The Post reports:
“…the poll shows sharp divisions between generations, political parties and people who actually use the app. A small majority of people who did not use TikTok in the past month support banning the app, while an identical majority of daily TikTok users oppose it.”
Regarding TikTok’s parent company ByteDance being based in China, nearly three-quarters of respondents (71 percent) said they were concerned, while 36 percent said they are “very concerned” and 9% “not at all concerned.”
The poll, which was taken March 17-18 and surveyed 1,027 U.S. adults, found that the thoughts of the general public “roughly mirror the dynamics on Capitol Hill,” reports The Post, with some in leadership rallying around a ban of the app while others are sticking to a wait-and-see approach, urging a closer review of the app by the Biden administration.
How about other social media apps?
When asked “Do you think TikTok collects more personal data than other social media apps, less data than other apps, or about the same amount?” respondents didn’t see TikTok as being particularly aggressive compared to others.
34 percent of respondents said TikTok collects more personal data than other social media apps, while 3 percent said it collects less data, and 43 percent said it collects “about the same amount.”
Among TikTok users who were asked, 58 percent said TikTok collects about the same amount of data as other apps.
The Post additionally reported on American attitudes on other negative effects of the app, reporting that:
Americans have significant concerns about the platform’s impact on younger users, with 72 percent saying it is likely to be causing harm to teens’ mental health. Another 50 percent say it is likely that TikTok is encouraging illegal activity through trends seen on the app.