TikTok has been getting a lot of flak these last few months for its alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
Privacy is the main issue, as always. Already, multiple countries have banned TikTok on government devices, including:
- European Union
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States
It’s important to note that these countries haven’t outlawed the use of TikTok for the population. Instead, they’ve banned its use for members of the government, secret services, and those with access to confidential governmental information.
Below, I’ll show you several studies from Statista that show the opinions of US citizens on whether TikTok is a national threat or not.
Share of US Citizens Who Believe TikTok Is a National Threat as of March 2023
This study was performed between the 26th-27th of March 2023 and it had a total of 1,500 respondents from the US.
Here are the results:
|Opinion||Share of U.S. Adult Users||Share of TikTok Users|
According to these results, the majority of TikTok users (52%) don’t consider the platform to be a national threat to the US.
On the other hand, the majority of US adult users (not using TikTok) believe that TikTok is indeed a national security threat to the country.
Those who said they weren’t sure number in the minority, with 28% adult US users and 25% TikTok users giving this answer.
A possible (and likely) explanation for why most TikTok users don’t think the platform is a national security threat is that they can’t see the situation clearly.
They’re already using the app, and admitting that it’s bad would mean they’d also have to accept that they shouldn’t use it. It goes against their pleasures and desires, which makes it difficult to accept the truth.
The next study will show us the opinion of US citizens about TikTok’s connection to China being a national security threat.
Share of US Citizens Who Believe TikTok’s Connection to China Is a National Security Risk as of March 2023
This survey was conducted by Statista between March 20 and 22, 2023, so it’s very recent and likely to be true. There were 2,117 respondents to it.
Here’s what it found out:
|Yes, it is a national security risk||No, it is not a national security risk||Not Sure|
A little bit over half of those interviewed said that they believe TikTok’s ties to China is a national security threat.
The rest 44% said they don’t think it’s a treat or that they don’t know, one of which is more worrying than the other.
If this statistic is representative of the entire US population, then it won’t be hard to impose harsher restrictions on TikTok as a whole. People already believe the platform is a national threat.
Next, we’re going to look at people’s opinions about the government’s demand for banning TikTok based on their political party.
US Citizens’ View on Government Demand for Ban/Sale in March 2023, by Political Party
It’ll be interesting to see the difference between one’s political allegiance and their opinion on the government’s demand for a TikTok ban/sale.
Here’s the chart:
We can see that Republicans are more likely to agree with the government’s demand for a TikTok ban/sale. Around 40% strongly approve of it and 60% somewhat approve of it.
So, around 60% of all interviewed Republicans approve of the TikTok ban. We don’t know the exact number of Republicans who answered this survey, though.
Democrats were the least likely to approve of the ban (around 21% of the Democrats who answered), while independents leaned a bit more toward the ban, but not by much.
The majority of independents weren’t sure about the situation, which is the largest share of people who gave this answer, among Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.
This might support three conclusions:
- Republicans are more aware/afraid of TikTok’s ties to the CCP and perceive it as more of a national security threat than Democrats
- Democrats value freedom of expression more than they do national security
- Republicans are more paranoid (with or without justification) about China’s intentions than Democrats
- Independents prefer to abstain because they don’t have as much popular support that would sustain controversial opinions
The truth lies somewhere in the middle, most likely.
Next, I’ll show you the same statistic but for US adult citizens and TikTok users.
US Citizens’ View on Government Demand for Ban/Sale in March 2023
It’ll be interesting to see which percentage of TikTok users approve of government demands for TikTok’s ban or sale.
Let’s look at the data:
|Opinion||U.S. Adult Citizens||TikTok Users|
As we would expect, many only 17% of TikTok user respondents approve of the government ban/sale of TikTok, compared to 28% of U.S. adult citizens.
Many more TikTok users strongly disapprove of this action (21%) compared to 10% of U.S. adult citizens. This goes to show that TikTok users might have a less objective and clear perception of TikTok than regular people.
Most US adult citizens who responded (28% of 1,500 respondents) believe that the government is right in demanding the ban and/or sale of TikTok. 10% of them disapproved while 25% were not sure.
These stats tell me that, in general, the US population is pretty set against TikTok and it’s pretty clear that they perceive it as a threat.
With those who are TikTok users, it’s a different story altogether. Many are making a lot of money through TikTok content creation, so it’s only natural that they won’t like the government’s demands.
Others… well, others are simply addicted to it and won’t approve of TikTok’s ban if it means they won’t be able to use it anymore.
Either way, TikTok’s fate is pretty much sealed around the world. The world’s governments have already issued bans on government devices, and it might not be long before nationwide bans are issued.
We’ll see what happens when it happens. See you soon!
- AP News – Here Are the Countries that Have Bans on TikTok
- Statista – Opinion of United States Citizens Over TikTok Posing a National Security Threat to the Country as of March 2023
- Statista – Share of United States Citizens Who Believe TikTok Connection to China Poses a National Security Threat as of March 2023
- Statista – Opinion of Adult U.S. Citizens on Government Demand for TikTok Being Sold or Banned in the Country as of March 2023, by Party Identification
- Statista – Opinion of Adult U.S. Citizens on Government Demand for TikTok Being Sold or Banned in the Country as of March 2023