Sharp partisan, generational divide in support for national Tiktok ban: poll

Support for a national ban of TikTok is split along both generational and partisan lines, according to a new poll, as lawmakers continue to debate the possibility of blocking the social media app, owned by China-based ByteDance.

Just 33 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 and 46 percent of people between 35 and 49 support a ban on technology such as TikTok, according to new polling from Quinnipiac University. A 60 percent majority of people over 50 support such a ban.

The divide in support also existed between parties, with just 39 percent of Democrats supporting a ban and a majority of independents and Republicans in favor of such a move, with 50 percent and 64 percent respectively. Overall, 49 percent of people in the poll supported the ban while 42 percent did not.

The Quinnipiac poll of 1,795 adults with a margin of error of 2.3 percent comes as both Republican and Democratic lawmakers at the state and federal levels have taken steps to limit the use of TikTok on government devices. 

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Lawmakers have voiced concerns about the app’s parent company’s ties to the Chinese government, which has caused angst that it could be collecting data from users and sharing it with the Chinese Communist Party. FBI Director Christopher Wray reiterated to lawmakers last week that the social media site poses a national security risk to the U.S. It is an allegation that TikTok has long denied.

A number of states, including ones with Democratic governors like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, have banned the use of the app on government devices.

While Republicans have introduced legislation to specifically target TikTok, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill last week that would give the federal government more power to regulate, and possibly block, platforms with ties to foreign adversaries. While it is unclear whether it will garner enough support to clear the chamber, it is considered to have a better chance of passing than other GOP-led pushes to ban the website.

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