TikTok ban: Trump calls Facebook ‘enemy of the people’ after reversing stance on Chinese-owned app

Republican candidate says ‘kids will go crazy’ if app is blocked

Anthony Cuthbertson
Tuesday 12 March 2024 11:04 GMT
The logo for the TikTok app pictured in Mulhouse, France on 19 October, 2023
The logo for the TikTok app pictured in Mulhouse, France on 19 October, 2023 (Getty Images)

US presidential candidate Donald Trump appears to have reversed his stance on banning TikTok, despite claiming it poses a national security threat.

Speaking in an interview on Monday, Mr Trump backtracked on his former efforts to ban the Chinese-owned app while serving as president in 2020.

US lawmakers are currently debating whether to crackdown on TikTok by forcing its parent company ByteDance to either sell the app or cease operations.

Mr Trump argued that an outright ban would only benefit Facebook, which he described as the “enemy of the people”.

He also reiterated concerns with TikTok, which has been accused of mishandling user data and holding too much influence over Americans.

“There’s a lot of good and there’s a lot of bad [with TikTok],” Mr Trump told NBC.

View more

“There are a lot of people on TikTok that love it. There are a lot of young kids on TikTok who will go crazy without it.”

He added that he thought Facebook had been “very bad for our country, especially when it comes to elections”.

TikTok has already been banned in several major markets, including an outright ban in India, as well as partial blocks in the European Union. The US has banned federal workers from using TikTok on government devices, while US President Joe Biden has said he supports the bill to ban TikTok despite using it in his reelection campaign.

TikTok has denied accusations of Chinese state influence on its operations, and has urged its 170 million US users to contact their representatives and urge them not to support the bill.

“This will damage millions of businesses, destroy the livelihoods of countless creators across the country, and deny artists and audience,” the company wrote in a pop-up message to US users last week. “Let Congress know what TikTok means to you and tell them to vote NO.”

Mr Trump launched his own social media platform called Truth Social in February 2022 after being banned from most other apps.

Truth Social has struggled with growing its user base, with an estimated 2 million active users compared to Facebook’s 3 billion. TikTok has more than 1 billion monthly users worldwide.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in