By: Rob Bluey, The Daily Signal
TikTok might be popular among America’s youth, but a majority of voters view it as a threat to the United States. An even higher percentage favor a federal ban of the social media platform.
RMG Research, a polling firm led by Scott Rasmussen, shared its latest survey data exclusively with The Daily Signal. The poll was conducted Dec. 18-19 among 1,000 registered U.S. voters.
Rasmussen asked voters to rate social media platforms that posed a “serious threat” to the United States. Of the five major platforms surveyed, 51% of respondents viewed TikTok as a threat. That number increased five percentage points since Rasmussen’s November survey.
TikTok emanated from China, where its Beijing-based parent company ByteDance is headquartered. The Heritage Foundation’s Kara Frederick, director of the Tech Policy Center, has warned that TikTok’s exploitation of user data, abuse of privacy, and proprietary algorithm make Americans vulnerable to the Chinese Communist Party. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news outlet.)
“From logging keystrokes to laundering pro-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) narratives to U.S. audiences, TikTok—via its Beijing-based parent company ByteDance—exposes Americans to a host of abuses by the Chinese government,” Frederick wrote in a March report on TikTok.
What to do about it? Frederick concluded the federal government should impose a wholesale ban on TikTok in the United States.
The new poll found 54% of American voters agree with the recommendation. The number jumps to 58% when respondents were asked if TikTok could be used by Chinese government to interfere in U.S. elections.
Over the past two months, TikTok made headlines for other reasons. Since the brutal Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, TikTok users have used the platform to spread antisemitic messages about Jews and shared posts sympathetic to Hamas terrorists. Another viral post, Osama bin Laden’s letter to America, went viral.
Last month, Pew Research Center reported that younger Americans were increasingly using TikTok as their source of news. An estimated 32% of U.S. adults aged 18-29 regularly used TikTok for news consumption. Among all U.S. adults, that number has quadrupled in the past three years.
“They use it as a news aggregator,” Sen. Josh Hawley told The National Desk. “And if you look at much of what is trending on TikTok, if you look at the volume of pro-Hamas, frankly pro-genocidal content.”
According to those surveyed by Rasmussen, 40% of respondents said TikTok was being used to promote divisive content about the war between Israel and Hamas. TikTok topped the list of the five social media platform included in the survey.
Amid these concerns, TikTok mounted a public-relations campaign to correct the “misinformation.”
“There was a fast moving, false narrative that the publicly available data simply didn’t support,” a TikTok spokesperson to Axios.
Rasmussen’s poll found that by a margin of 55% to 28%, Americans favored U.S. government action against TikTok users who called for the destruction of Israel or for violence against Jewish people.
The margin of error for the RMG Research poll is +/- 3.1 percentage points.