Half of American Adults Support Ban on TikTok, 46% Believe China Using it to Spy on United States

A recent poll by Reuters/Ipsos reveals a divided sentiment among U.S. adults regarding the potential ban of TikTok. How surprising. Sarcasm. ByteDance, a China-based tech company, owns the popular social media app. With an ambitious law on the horizon that could effectively ban TikTok nationwide by January 2025, about half of Americans express support for the drastic measure, citing concerns over data privacy and Chinese influence.

The legislation, known as the “Protecting Americans’ Data From Foreign Adversaries Act of 2024,” signed by President Biden after receiving bipartisan support in Congress, mandates ByteDance to divest its stake in TikTok within nine months to a non-“foreign adversary” entity. That’s a bold statement, but the lawmakers are serious about this. Failure to comply would result in the app’s distribution being prohibited in America. TikTok intends to challenge the law on First Amendment grounds, but the ban may become a reality if unsuccessful. ByteDance has no plans to sell its interest in the platform.

According to the poll, approximately 50% of Americans support a TikTok ban, 32% oppose it, and 18% are undecided. Concerns about Chinese government surveillance and influence loom large, with 55% believing ByteDance utilizes TikTok to sway public opinion and 46% suspecting espionage activities by the Chinese government.

Senator Maria Cantwell has raised alarms, suggesting that TikTok and ByteDance exploit data and artificial intelligence for surveillance purposes, even targeting journalists covering the company. Past incidents, such as ByteDance firing employees for unauthorized access to TikTok data, further fuel apprehensions.

Concerns about the repercussions of a TikTok ban exist. Ninety percent of respondents believe content creators would migrate to alternative platforms, while 45% worry about adverse effects on small businesses and performing artists. Additionally, 46% fear potential infringements on free speech rights.

The Ipsos/Reuters poll, conducted from April 29-30 with a sample size of 1,022 U.S. residents aged 18 or older, highlights the complexity of public opinion on the TikTok ban issue, with a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.2 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

Whatever happens, TikTok has become an influential staple in pop culture, but the connection to China has some people concerned, and possibly, rightfully so. 

The post Half of American Adults Support Ban on TikTok, 46% Believe China Using it to Spy on United States first appeared on The Source.

The post Half of American Adults Support Ban on TikTok, 46% Believe China Using it to Spy on United States appeared first on The Source.

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