Some of them are too young to vote. Some of them do not even live in the United States.
But for many, TikTok has become the platform of choice to not only discuss the presidential election, but also to promote for a candidate.
“This election is not just about politics, it is about respect and about what we want in this country and it is so much more than traditional politics. Mga Young people realize that our rights come from politics, for better or worse, “said Aidan Kohn-Murphy, 16, a TikTok user from Washington, DC” I think people younger than 18 realize how they can be political and engaged in civics even though they could not vote. “
In the app, a bush of users’ profile pictures was recently transformed into an image of the words “Gen Z for Biden,” lying between a rainbow and a little red heart – the logo of a newly formed advocacy group for Joe’s election Biden called “TikTok for Biden.” The group, formed by Aidan and fellow content creator Brendan Radecki, 18, of Oklahoma, consists of approximately 350 TikTok creators and stars with a collective following of approximately 150 million, according to to the founders, who say they are saving money, telephone banking and holding events to help elect Biden this November.
“Your age will not prevent you from participating in what is happening today and trying to engage with other people in what is happening now.… Just because you have not voted does not mean you should not be with them,” said Tennessee Julia Julia member of the leadership team for TikTok for Biden.
While a portion of the content creators for TikTok for the Biden account are too young to cast a ballot, the group – formed after the first presidential debate on September 29 but began posting publicly after the debate vice president on October 7 – saw rapid growth in this short period and has already accumulated more than 729,000 followers.
Politics has always been a topic of discussion in TikTok, but it exploded in popularity as Election Day approached. Political hashtags are getting millions of views – but hashtags that support either presidential candidate are dwarf at most, with views of billions. The hashtag # Biden2020 has over 3.5 billion views while the hashtag # Trump2020 has over 12.6 billion views. Neither the Trump campaign nor the Biden campaign has an official TikTok account.
“I learned so much from TikTok and I feel it is just a great place for younger people to get a very good coverage on how people stand and why they stand for specific things,” he said. by Gilbert Dabady, 15, of Massachusetts, a member of “TikTok for Biden.”
Members of the leadership of “TikTok for Biden,” who spoke to NBC News, said the group’s mission is to raise funds for Biden’s campaign, down-ballot candidates and organizations such as Black Lives Matter , in addition to advocating for young people who are eligible to vote on the same register (in states where the deadline has not yet passed) and vote their ballot for Biden. They also plan to hold telephone banking events.
While “TikTok for Biden” is not the only political account on the platform, the fast-growing account support may reflect the behaviors of younger millennials and Gen Z (generally covering those born since 1997). until early 2010) as an example in recent polling data.
A national online poll on NBC News / Quibi of millennial and Generation Z voters conducted after the first presidential debate and after Trump was positive for the coronavirus showed 69 percent of Gen Z voters and 54 percent of millennials with a negative impression of the president.
The poll also showed Gen Z voters that Democratic nominee Biden preferred Trump over 40 points, 64 percent to 22 percent, while millennial voters returned Biden with 14 points, 50 percent to 36 percent.
Historically, younger voters have a lower number of people, but the 2018 midterm elections marked a modern high for the turnout of young voters, according to Pew Research.
In teens, Biden’s reception is usually lukewarm, highlighted by movements such as “Settle for Biden.” As the election approaches, members of “TikTok for Biden” say they think it is important to get Gen Z not only enthusiastic about Biden but also on his platform.
“We get these comments in our account saying, ‘Are you forcing us to support Biden or live for him?’ That’s kind of ridiculous to me. Even though Biden is not our dream candidate, we know he is better than Trump, “Aidan said.” We have to do everything to get him elected. “
There are also similar accounts supporting the president. An account called “Teens for Trump” has a following of over 6,200. A request for an interview sent to the NBC News account was not returned.
This is far from the only advocacy account for presidential candidates. Political content houses, such as the Conservative Hype House, which has 1.5 million followers, and the Democrat Hype House, which has more than 192,000 followers, (and other variations of those accounts such as “The Republican Hype House” or “The Liberal Hype The House”) are collaborative accounts where creators not only advocate for candidates but also check the facts, post news updates and act as social media pundits for Gen Z, according to The New York Times.
Both sides of the aisle share a mission for Gen Z education and political participation.
“It’s kind of our mission to get Gen Z more involved because I don’t think people know how much politics is in your daily life and every decision you make. It thrives around politics in a way, ”Liam Rafizadeh, 20, manager of The Republican Hype House, told NBC News in a recent interview.
Rafizadeh added that while TikTok is intended to arouse the interests of people with satisfactory content, he feels that the platform should not be the primary source of information for anyone.
“I would not say take your news from TikTok, get your news from Twitter,” he said. “Our goal is for people to do their own research. … I will not be like: ‘I saw it in TikTok. True.’ Anyone can have a TikTok. “
Members of “TikTok for Biden,” said, for them, TikTok covers the age group they hope to reach and the best place for them to advocate for choosing Biden.
“It’s very important to create political content and watch political content because it really educates yourself about what’s going on in the world,” says Brooklynne Webb, 16, a TikTok star who is a member of “TikTok for Biden, “despite living in Victoria, British Columbia.
Brooklynne said it was important for her to join the group and advocate for Biden because of the impact the United States has on the world, especially when it comes to issues such as climate change.
In addition to climate change, members of “TikTok for Biden” say the issues that matter most to them include health care, systemic inequities and racism, and LGBTQ issues.
While members of “TikTok for Biden” say their main goal is to help the former vice president be elected, they expect that whatever the outcome of the election, they can show the power of the youth.
“We are here to show adults and prove to ourselves that young people, even if they can’t vote, and even if they are young and they can vote, they can be in politics and they can make a serious difference,” he said. Aidan said.