Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Trump campaign launches Facebook ads calling for support to ban TikTok

The presidential campaign of Donald Trump rolled out Facebook advertisements that call for support in banning video-sharing app TikTok, which has been under scrutiny over security issues.

Earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the government is weighing a ban on Chinese social media apps such as TikTok, over security concerns that have plagued the app. Trump’s campaign is apparently urging its supporters to join the cause.

The Facebook ads, with images that claim “TikTok is spying on you,” were shared on Twitter by ABC News’ Will Steakin and New York Times’ Taylor Lorenz.

NEW: Trump running anti-TikTok ads on Facebook, urging supporters to sign a petition to ban the app

— Will Steakin (@wsteaks) July 18, 2020

Trump now running anti-TikTok Facebook/Instagram ads accusing the company of spying on users

— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) July 17, 2020

“TikTok has been caught red handed by monitoring what is on your phone’s Clipboard,” say the text on the ads, referring to a security issue that was also discovered by Apple’s iOS 14 in other apps such as AccuWeather, AliExpress, Call of Duty Mobile, Google News, Overstock, and Patreon, as well as LinkedIn and Reddit.

The ads call for people to sign a petition to support the discussions to ban TikTok. However, according to Lorenz, the link goes to a survey that collects a person’s information to be added to a mailing list. “These ads are basically stoking anti-TikTok/China sentiment and misleading users to boost Trump’s mailing list,” he said.

The ads were paid for by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, and primarily target the age range of 18 to 64, Bloomberg reported, citing information from Facebook’s ad library.

White House vs. TikTok

Chief of Staff Mark Meadows recently said that the White House could take action against Chinese apps such as TikTok within weeks, not months, as they are under review over risks to national security.

Meanwhile, experts told Digital Trends that TikTok is not any more dangerous than other social media apps or online services, but it is being singled out due to its connection to China.

Editors' Recommendations

Aaron Mamiit
Aaron received a NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros. for Christmas when he was 4 years old, and he has been fascinated with…
Clear Mode on TikTok: Here’s what it is and how to use it
The TikTok app on a smartphone's screen. The smartphone is sitting on a white table.

When it comes to its features, TikTok is most known for all the fun bells and whistles you can add to a video that you create for its short-form video-sharing platform.

But what about the app's video-watching features? Those might be lesser known to you (or just less noticeable) because they're part of a more passive way of experiencing TikTok. But despite how easily video-watching features can fly under the radar, there is one new TikTok feature, that's worth knowing about. It's called "Clear Mode."

Read more
TikTok is launching a dedicated gaming channel
Person's hand holding a smartphone with TikTok's logo on screen, all in front of a blurred background.

TikTok is moving further into the games industry by launching its own dedicated gaming channel.

According to a report from Financial Times, the channel will allow TikTok users to access games by pressing a tab on the ByteDance-owned social media platform's homepage. Four people familiar with the matter said that the channel will feature a variety of mobile games — some of which the company already developed — with ads and additional content that users can purchase.

Read more
Is TikTok leaking drafts? Let’s take a closer look at this rumor
The TikTok app on a smartphone's screen. The smartphone is sitting on a white table.

Not every social media post is ready for prime time. Sometimes you write a post or film a video and decide that it's better to not publish it. That's fine. That's what the Drafts folder is for. That folder is built to hold your works-in-progress, mistakes, and other too-goofy-for-public-consumption posts and videos. The Drafts folder is probably one that you take for granted, but what if that folder (via a particularly viral-prone social media platform) were to have its content leaked and published for the world to see? Scary, isn't it?

That's the fear that's behind a certain, now years-long TikTok rumor going around. But is it true? Is TikTok leaking its users' drafts? In this guide, we're taking a closer look at this rumor and fact-checking it.
The rumor
As far as we can tell, the whole "TikTok leaks drafts" rumor dates back to at least the summer of 2020. It's not a rumor that really made mainstream news headlines, but it did get some coverage with lesser-known websites, and it does have a tendency to resurface repeatedly. The last time it resurfaced was in August 2022. Here's what we know about it:

Read more