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About Half of American Adults Favour TikTok Ban, Poll Finds

The finding coincides with news that New York City has banned the Chinese social media app on government devices because of security concerns

Close to half of Americans favour a ban on TikTok, a new poll has found.
US lawmakers are reviewing efforts to give the Biden administration new powers to ban TikTok, which have stalled in Congress. And it could be an issue in next year's election if ties with China face further strains. Reuters file image.


A new survey has found that close to half of American adults support a ban on the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok.

The finding came in a poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos early this week that also asked questions about national security concerns and China.

The finding coincides with news that New York City has banned the Chinese app on government devices because of security concerns.

TikTok “posed a security threat to the city’s technical networks”, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement on Wednesday.


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New York City agencies are required to remove the app within 30 days and employees will lose access to the app and its website on city-owned devices and networks. New York State has already banned TikTok on state-issued mobile devices.

TikTok, owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance and used by tens of millions of Americans, has faced calls from US lawmakers for a nationwide ban over concerns about possible Chinese government influence.

Some 47% of respondents to the two-day poll, which concluded on Tuesday, said they at least somewhat supported “banning the social media application, TikTok, from use in the United States,” while 36% opposed a ban and 17% said they didn’t know.

Some 58% of Republicans favoured a ban, compared to 47% of Democrats, the poll showed.

The survey also revealed deep worries among Americans about China’s global influence at a time when US-China relations have fallen to their lowest point in decades.

The online Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted nationwide, collecting responses from 1,005 adults, including 443 Democrats and 346 Republicans. It had a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 4 percentage points in either direction.


China could control phone software: FBI chief

FBI director Christopher Wray warned again in March that China’s government could use TikTok to control software on millions of devices and drive narratives to divide Americans, adding that the app “screams” of national security concerns.

Other top US intelligence officials, including CIA director William Burns, also have said TikTok poses a threat.

TikTok said in a statement that more than 150 million Americans, including 5 million US businesses, actively use TikTok to earn a living, engage in the classroom, and find community.

“We’ve taken unprecedented actions to safeguard protected US user data, and we will continue working to build a safe, secure, and inclusive platform to ensure the positive experience of our users in every corner of the country,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

Efforts to give the Biden administration new powers to ban TikTok have stalled in Congress. Last month US lawmakers said they were considering changes to address concerns about the bill.

Still, the issue could become a focus for Republicans in the 2024 US presidential campaign, with some candidates backing a TikTok ban.

Former President Donald Trump in 2020 sought to bar new downloads of TikTok but a series of court decisions blocked the ban from taking effect.

Florida governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has said he favours some form of a national ban on the app.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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