Trump campaign running ads to encourage voters to delete TikTok app
President Donald Trump’s campaign is now running ads on Facebook encouraging voters to sign a petition to ban Beijing-based TikTok, following the president’s increasing rhetoric to ban the Chinese video app in the U.S.
“TikTok has been caught red handed by monitoring what is on your phone’s clipboard,” says the ad with is also running on Instagram. “Sign the petition now to ban TikTok.”
When clicking on the ad, voters are asked to fill out a survey that requests their email address and cell phone number.
The Trump campaign’s ad against the social media app follows Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments that suggested the U.S. is exploring a ban on TikTok.
Pompeo said that his main concern is that the app has loose security protocols and shares user information with the Chinese government. The app is primarily used by millennials and Gen Z.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says that he expects TikTok to pull out of the holding company which is China-run and operate as an independent American company.
The Facebook ads target users between ages 18 and 64, with the most significant percentage of viewers coming from battleground states such as Texas and Florida according to Bloomberg.
Facebook has been developing its own competitor to TikTok called Instagram Reels and plans to launch the new app soon. The development has taken more than a year and allows users to compose 15-second video clips that can be set to a variety of music.
Trump’s campaign has also recently taken out ads against Twitter and Snapchat, claiming that they are both attempting to silence the president.
Democrats say that TikTok has become a target of the Trump campaign for reasons other than its ties to China. It was young Americans using TikTok that were credited with signing up for tickets to the president’s Tulsa, OK rally last month to embarrass Trump. The campaign had promoted that millions had requested tickets but instead of the big crowd they were expecting, attendance at the rally was considerably lacking.
The app has more than 2 billion global downloads and an estimated U.S. userbase of 80 million. It outperforms both U.S.-based apps Snapchat and Instagram.
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