It’s Mainly Non-TikTok Users Who Feel the App is Security Threat


Almost 60% of Americans consider TikTok to be a threat to national security in the United States — but that perception varies depending on whether or not the individual actually uses the app.

According to a new study published by the Pew Research Center on Monday, around three in five Americans view TikTok as a danger to national security in the U.S. as the Chinese-owned app faces increased scrutiny from lawmakers over its data usage practices.

5,101 U.S. adults were surveyed by the Pew Research Center in mid-May shortly after Montana become the first state to completely ban TikTok.

According to the survey, 59% of Americans said they saw TikTok as either a major or minor threat to U.S. national security. Meanwhile, 17% of respondents said the platform is not a threat and 23% said that they were not sure.

Pew Research Center said that TikTok users were less likely to consider the app dangerous. Only 9% of TikTok users see the video app as a major threat — while 36% of non-TikTok users feel the same.

Around 42% of TikTok users view the video app as any kind of risk, whereas 65% of non-users see it as a possible concern.

Other Factors

Age also appears to play an important role in how Americans perceive TikTok. Around two-thirds of respondents aged 65 and above saw TikTok as a national security threat, compared to 49% for those between 18 and 29 years old.

Republican and Republican-leaning respondents were slightly more likely to consider the short-video app a threat: seven in 10. Meanwhile, five in 10 Democrats or Democratic-leaning respondents also expressed concern about the app.

TikTok, which has over 150 million American users, is still facing the threat of a potential nationwide ban in the U.S.

Federal officials are particularly concerned that American user data on TikTok could fall into the hands of the Chinese government, due to a law in China that compels firms to hand over information to Beijing if they are requested to do so.

The Biden administration has demanded that the Chinese-owned TikTok be sold or be banned across the country.

However, yesterday U.S. lawmakers admitted that aggressive lobbying by ByteDance-owned TikTok against the legislation had “slowed a bit of our momentum” and they may need to make changes to the original crackdown bill.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.