(StraightNews.org) — A new poll reveals a stark divide among Americans on whether TikTok should be banned. Overall, nearly half support an outright ban, but there is distinct disagreement along political lines, as well as different age groups. A Wall Street Journal survey showed that 46% support a ban, while only 35% oppose the idea.
Among Republicans, 62% said they support banning the platform nationwide, while 33% of Democrats say the same. The difference is most stark among different age groups. The majority of those aged over 65 support a ban – 59%. While only 37% of people aged 18-34 agree. There is also a gap between racial groups on this issue. Around half of white people support it, while 42% of Hispanics and 35% of blacks agree.
It is the second such poll conducted within a month. The Pew Research Center asked Americans the same question in late March, showing an even more significant divide. On that occasion, 50% supported a ban, while 22% did not. Of people aged over 65, 71% support a ban, while only 29% aged 18-29 agreed.
The Pew poll was conducted weeks after the White House told ByteDance, the company that owns the platform, that it must sell its stake or face a nationwide ban.
TikTok is a social media video-sharing site that displays short, rapidly-moving clips. It has been condemned as a national security threat and a danger to young people’s mental health. Leaders of both the FBI and CIA say the Chinese Communist Party can gather data on all American users of the site, and China could use this information for nefarious means. Some politicians from both sides worry that the site’s powerful algorithms promote harmful ideas to young people.
A March study found that children could access a stream of harmful content. “The algorithm forces you into a spiral of depression, hopelessness, and self-harm, and it’s terribly difficult to get out of that spiral,” said one researcher.
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