Think Of The Zoomers! Democrat Activists Worry TikTok Ban Would Be 'Slap In The Face' To Young Voters
After a Thursday grilling of TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew at a congressional hearing over concerns about user data and Chinese spying, Democrats have found an odd way of defending the app which may place data into the hands of the CCP...
...banning the app - which doesn't actually exist in China - will be a "slap in the face" to zoomers, aka GenZ.
"I’m not defending TikTok as a company, I’m defending my entire generation," said 19-year-old Harvard freshman, Aidan Kohn-Murphy, who founded a group in 2020 called TikTok for Biden (now called Gen Z for Change, having been formally incorporated as a political nonprofit).
"If they went ahead with banning TikTok, it would feel like a slap in the face to a lot of young Americans," he added. "Democrats don’t understand the political consequences this would have."
As the Biden administration considers banning the Chinese-owned short-form video platform with some 150 million U.S. users, young progressive activists and the older Democratic strategists trying to reach them are worried that the officials making the decision — very few of whom likely regularly use TikTok — have no idea how central the platform is to the lives of many in a generation that is just coming of age politically.
Gen Z — the teens and 20-somethings born after 1996 — skew overwhelmingly liberal and Democratic. Their stronger-than-expected turnout in the 2022 midterms was partially credited with salvaging what otherwise might have been a disastrous election for the Democratic Party. -NBC News
According to a recent poll, a majority of GenZ voters (53%) opposed a ban on TikTok vs. 34% who supported it. 49% of millennials support the ban vs. 34% who are similarly against it.
"No doubt, Gen Z loves TikTok — it’s a source of entertainment, advice and revenue for influencers," said pollster, John Della Volpe. "Banning it without a clear presentation of facts would be jarring; but what this survey shows is that two thirds of young Americans are concerned about Chinese threats to national security — and Gen Z is more pragmatic that many initially thought."
Who else defended TikTok? The Washington Post's Drew Harwell, who banged out a multi-tweet screed arguing that "TikTok might downplay its ownership by a China-based company because members of Congress keep saying it's a secret Chinese spying machine owned by the Chinese Communist Party with zero evidence."
Members of Congress seem surprised by the fact that China has said it would resist the sale of TikTok. We've known that for three years; the government added the algorithm to an export-ban list when Trump tried to force a sale last time https://t.co/hj4F0uujHf— Drew Harwell (@drewharwell) March 23, 2023
Maybe you should read your own newspaper, Drew. https://t.co/ZFZ2WsWAoP— Noam Blum (@neontaster) March 23, 2023
I know!— Noam Blum (@neontaster) March 24, 2023