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Americans Split On TikTok New Survey Reveals Nearly 50% Support Ban Or Sale (2)


Americans Split On TikTok: New Survey Reveals Nearly 50% Support Ban Or Sale

The new CNBC All-America Economic Survey finds Americans are divided over TikTok, with nearly half saying the platform should be banned or sold to a non-Chinese company due to national security concerns.

The nationwide poll of 1,001 U.S. adults, conducted March 15-19, reveals that 47% support either outright banning TikTok (20%) or allowing it to continue operating only if sold to a non-Chinese owner (27%). However, 31% oppose any ban on the app.

The survey results come just days after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation that would give TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance roughly six months to divest its ownership or face the app’s nationwide ban. The Senate has not yet voted on the bill.

ByteDance has launched a major campaign to mobilize opposition to a potential ban, including testimonial videos featuring TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew and protests staged outside the U.S. Capitol. Over 500,000 TikTok posts use hashtags like #KeepTikTok and #SaveTikTok to oppose the potential ban.

The CNBC survey reveals sharp demographic and political divides on the issue. Younger Americans reject banning TikTok, with 48% of those aged 18-34 opposing it, compared to just 11% of those 65 and older. Among the platform’s daily users, about two-thirds think the government should allow the app to continue operating.

“You’re taking away our First Amendment rights,” said TikTok content creator Ophelia Nichols, known as “shoelover99” with over 12.5 million followers. “This is a community. It’s a family.”

Political differences are also pronounced. While 40% of Democratic respondents favored a ban or forced sale and 38% opposed it, 60% of Republicans supported such measures. Independents leaned against a ban, with 40% opposed and 34% in favor of restricting TikTok.

The issue presents challenges for President Biden, who is struggling to maintain support among younger voters. His approval rating among those aged 18-34 is just 33%, 7 points below his long-run average with that group.

“It’s unlikely TikTok will be the deciding factor for many votes, but with the candidates in a virtual dead heat, it could play a peripheral role in a race where small margins may matter,” the CNBC analysis states.

Supporters argue banning TikTok would violate free speech and disrupt an important online community. “People say, ‘If we shut down TikTok, they’ll go follow you on Meta,’ which is not true,” said V Spehar, host of TikTok news show “Under the Desk News” with over 3 million followers.

A compromise forcing ByteDance to divest TikTok’s U.S. operations could resolve national security concerns while allowing the app to continue for users. However, the controversy highlights growing tensions between data privacy, technology freedom, and national security in the modern era.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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