Published:May 23, 2023

Digital democracy|Digital freedom

1 in 3 American TikTok users would support its ban

TikTok's popularity has raised concerns in the US government, leading to the introduction of the RESTRICT Act in the Senate¹. The bill aims to grant authorities the power to restrict or ban technology from countries seen as adversaries, such as China. Montana has already signed a law to ban TikTok on personal devices starting next year². Once in effect, this would make the US the 8th country to ban TikTok this decade, as per our Internet Shutdown Tracker³. Surfshark surveyed American TikTok users to gauge public sentiment on a potential TikTok ban.

Key insights into Americans’ attitudes on a potential TikTok ban

  • The majority of American TikTok users don’t want TikTok banned. Only 1 out of 3 surveyed Americans said they would fully or partially support the US government’s decision to ban TikTok.
  • While neither generation shows a majority of support for a TikTok ban, millennial TikTok users show the highest level of support, with 43% of millennial respondents indicating at least partial agreement. In contrast, only 19% of Gen Z and Gen X users would support the ban.
  • Regarding people’s knowledge of TikTok’s Chinese ownership, which fuels the discussions and affects decisions regarding its ban the most, only half of Americans who use TikTok know who owns the app.
  • Millennial users demonstrate the highest level of awareness regarding TikTok’s ownership, with 61% stating that they are informed of the app’s origin. In comparison, just over 40% of Gen Z and Gen X users know who owns the app.

Methodology and sources

We conducted a survey of 1000 American TikTok users, focusing on people’s attitudes on TikTok. The survey ran between April 27th and May 3rd, 2023. 27% of our sample was made up of respondents from Generation Z (people aged between 11 and 26)⁴, 46% were millennials (people aged between 27 and 42), 23% were from Generation X (people aged between 43 and 58), and 4% were from the “Other” generation group (people aged 59 and up). We analyzed people’s responses across generations, with a focus on the three largest groups - Gen Z, millennials and Gen X.

For the complete research material behind this study, visit here.

References:

¹ United States Congress (2023). RESTRICT Act;² James Clayton and Annabelle Liang (2023). BBC. TikTok: Montana to become first US state to ban app on personal devices;³ Surfshark (2023). Internet shutdown tracker;⁴ Beresford Research (2023). Age range by generation.
The team behind this research:About us