Trump Says He Is Against the TikTok Ban Since It Would Help the “True Enemy of the People”

By: Alyssa Miller | Published: Mar 15, 2024

Former President Donald Trump’s surprising opposition emerges against the U.S. government’s second attempt to ban TikTok from being downloaded in the United States.

However, Trump’s reasoning isn’t a political one. Instead, he says that removing the video-sharing platform would allow one social media giant to continue dominating and monopolizing the internet social space.

What Is the TikTok Ban? 

Soon, the U.S. House of Representatives will review and vote on a bill, the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, which would block TikTok parent company ByteDance-controlled apps from being available in Apple or Google app stores.

The TikTok logo on a smartphone screen with a hot pink background

Source: Solen Feyissa/Flickr

The bill would give ByteDance 165 days to divest its ownership of TikTok or face a ban in the U.S.

Trump Sides With TikTok

The ACLU and TikTok have spoken against the ban, saying that it could affect the freedoms and livelihoods of Americans. Now, Trump allies himself with TikTok, but not for First Amendment reasons.

Donald Trump talking into a microphone

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Trump believes that a TikTok ban would boost business for Meta’s Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg’s Social Media Umbrella 

Zuckerberg and his company Meta are currently dominating social media platforms across the internet. Zuckerberg, a social media giant barely rivaled by Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, spans from Facebook to Instagram.

Mark Zuckerberg in a blue sweater standing in front of a blue background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Trump posted his social media platform, Truth Social, to call out the CEO of Meta “Zuckerschmuck,” and align with TikTok.

Trump Calls out the “True Enemy of the People” 

“If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “I don’t want Facebook, who cheated in the last Election, doing better. They are a true Enemy of the People!”

Donald Trump in a red tie pointing to someone off stage

Source: Wikimedia Commons

It is not clear what Trump is referencing when he states that Facebook cheated in the last election.

Trump’s Social Media Ban

Trump was notably banned or suspended by numerous social media platforms after the Jan. 6 insurrection for inciting violence. Trump is still feeling the consequences of his influence now with his ongoing Supreme Court case.

Donald Trump in a suite pointing to someone off stage

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Last year, Meta reinstated Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts with “new guardrails in the palace to deter repeat offenses.”


TikTok Has Been a Political Football

The bill was introduced to the House committee by Rep. Mike Gallagher and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi on March 5. TikTok has been a political football for several years, dating back to the Trump administration.

A TikTok app on a smartphone

Source: Plann

During his presidency, Trump had tried to force TikTok parent company ByteDance to sell its stake in the app but was shut down by federal courts.


Both Parties Seem to Want to Ban the App

The short-form video app has been a hot topic of discussion since its popularity spiked during COVID-19, quickly making it the most popular social media platform. However, lawmakers on both sides are concerned over its ties to China and how it handles U.S. users’ data.

A woman with long hair holding a plant while recording herself on her phone

Source: Plann

With this current bill, TikTok parent company ByteDance would have 165 days to divest interest in the popular app or face a ban.


The Biden Administration Endorses the TikTok Ban 

Most noticeably, Trump’s allyship with TikTok comes at a unique time. President Biden and Trump are likely heading for a rematch in the 2024 U.S. presidential election, and Biden and his administration have made it clear that they are in support of the TikTok ban.

Joe Biden standing behind a podium at the Pentagon

Source: U.S. Secretary of Defense/Flickr

While Biden’s 2024 campaign is official on TikTok, he has expressed his concerns about national security over the platform and has banned the app on federal devices.


Trump Goes Head-to-Head With the Biden Administration

Trump doesn’t seem to share the same concerns as Biden. “Frankly, 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,” Trump said in a call-in interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” (via The Hill)

A side by side image of Donald Trump and Joe Biden

Source: Emma Kaden/Flickr

Trump continued: “There’s a lot of good and there’s a lot of bad with TikTok. But the thing I don’t like is that without TikTok you’re going to make Facebook bigger, and I consider Facebook to be an enemy of the people, along with a lot of the media.”


Trump Believes Facebook Is Worse Than TikTok

“When I look at it, I’m not looking to make Facebook double the size,” Trump added. ”I think Facebook has been very bad for our country, especially when it comes to elections.”

A person looking at their smartphone screen

Source: Plann

The Indian government banned TikTok in June 2020, citing security concerns over the app’s Chinese ownership, while the U.S. has not banned it.


TikTok Prompts Users to Call Congress

TikTok quickly jumped into action after the bill made it out of the House committee with unanimous support. U.S. users’ apps displayed an alert urging them to oppose the legislation.

The TikTok logo on a smartphone screen

Source: Geri Tech/Pexels

The alert read, “Stop the TikTok shutdown,” and prompted users to call their congressional representatives with the message, “Let Congress know what TikTok means to you and tell them to vote NO.”