Voter support for a TikTok ban drops: survey

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The share of adults who say they would support the U.S. government banning TikTok has declined regardless of political party and a ban remains unpopular among teens, a new survey found.

Compared to a March survey that found 50 percent of U.S. adults said they support a ban, only 38 percent in the fall said they support the app being banned. Thirty-five percent say they aren’t sure, and 27 percent oppose the U.S. government banning the app, according to a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found.

Although support for a ban dropped among all adults despite political affiliation, Republicans are still more likely to support a ban than Democrats.

Half of all Republican voters surveyed said they support a ban, down from 60 percent in March, but that number remains higher than Democrats and independents who lean to the left, the survey found.

Democrats’ reviews were mixed in the most recent survey. While support decreased and opposition increased some, the share of Democratic respondents who said they were not sure whether they supported a ban increased from 31 to 38 percent.

The survey found that adults under the age of 30 were less likely to support a ban than any other age group. Pew noted its previous survey that found adults 30 or younger were more likely than other adults to use the app.  

The recent survey found that views on a ban differ depending on whether respondents use the app. People who use the app were more likely to oppose bans than people who do not use the app.  

Even fewer teens support a ban, Pew found. Only 18 percent of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 support government intervention. Half of teens surveyed oppose a ban. Regardless of political party, opposition to a ban among teens far outweighs support.

Montana is the first state with a law looking to ban the social media platform from operating in the state and ban app stores from offering TikTok to residents as soon as Jan. 1, 2024.

Montana’s state legislature was the first to pass a complete ban by arguing that the Chinese government could gain user information since the platform’s parent company ByteDance is based in Beijing.

TikTok has been banned by more than half of U.S. states and the federal government on official devices. The company has said the actions are unnecessary.

The Pew survey was conducted Sept. 25-Oct. among 8,842 panelists for the American Trends Panel. The margin of error is 1.6 percentage points.

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