US President Donald Trump snipes at TikTok again, as his reelection campaign launches an online petition to ban TikTok. The app is currently under fire for its Chinese roots. US lawmakers have called it a threat to national security. Meanwhile, Trump had already called for banning the app.
What Is This Trump Campaign Survey Calling to Ban TikTok?
Gizmodo reports that the Trump campaign launched the ads last Friday. Facebook and Instagram users might have seen them popping up on their feeds. Some of the apps repeat Trump’s claim that TikTok is spying on its users.
In the report, these ads said TikTok monitors the clipboards on users’ phones. After that, they urged users to join the campaign to ban TikTok.
While these ads look like petitions, reporter Taylor Lorenz discovered they are surveys. To join, users must give the Trump campaign their personal information, including email address and phone number. Once they provide the data, the campaign adds the users to Trump’s mailing list.
Trump campaign launches online ads urging supporters to sign a “petition” to ban TikTok. https://t.co/M5WI6rvvdk pic.twitter.com/XbKtDv9Z4W
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) July 19, 2020
The Trump Campaign’s Survey Target Demographics
From reports, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee paid for the online petition. If you’re a social media user between 18 and 64 years old, then you must have seen the ads. Users in battleground states for the 2020 elections also saw the ads more. So if you live in states like Texas and Florida, you must have seen them, too.
Trump now running anti-TikTok Facebook/Instagram ads accusing the company of spying on users pic.twitter.com/dfHuSVpciL
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) July 17, 2020
Why Trump and the US Government Is So Mad at TikTok
TikTok users had already embarrassed Trump before. Besides that, US lawmakers have accused TikTok of sending user data to the Chinese government. India had already banned TikTok and other apps based in China. Even companies like Wells Fargo have told employees to delete TikTok from their phones.
TikTok has denied all accusations. They have stressed they would never hand China its user data, even if asked. The company had also hired an American CEO to distance itself further from Beijing.