National Geographic reveals in its most recent issue that the Chinese-owned TikTok video-sharing app is on the front lines promoting pagan religions such as Wicca and druidism.
“Paganism is on the rise,” National Geographic notes approvingly, and TikTok “is fueling interest in this spiritual movement.”
Recently, “a resurgence of interest in Pagan practices — crystals and tarot cards, astrology, and herbal magic — has brought Paganism from the fringes back to the center of pop culture, or at least to the top of your TikTok feed,” the magazine declares.
Specifically, Tiktok has been credited with helping to popularize witchcraft through its #WitchTok hashtag, employed by a community of users to share content related to witchcraft, including spellcasting, divination, and ritual practices.
Some users in the #WitchTok community identify as witches, while others are simply interested in exploring and learning about these practices.
In its article, National Geographic goes on to assert that some 1.5 million people in the United States identify as pagans, up from just 134,000 in 2001.
According to Helen Berger, an author and sociologist of contemporary paganism and witchcraft, growth in paganism is linked to female empowerment, the gay rights movement, the climate crisis, and a desire for a more “life-affirming religion.”
The trend in paganism is also tied to the environmentalist movement, since pagans view the natural world as sacred, and Earth Day is celebrated as a pagan holiday, along with the winter and midsummer solstice, the article notes.
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese multinational internet technology company founded by Zhang Yiming in 2012 and headquartered in Beijing. Besides TikTok, ByteDance also owns other popular apps such as Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok), Toutiao (a news and information platform), and Xigua Video (a short-form video platform).
TikTok has been tagged by some U.S. policymakers and experts as a potential risk to national security due to its Chinese ownership and data privacy issues. The concerns stem from the fact that TikTok’s parent company could be compelled by the communist Chinese government to hand over user data or censor content that is deemed objectionable by Chinese authorities.
In response to these concerns, the U.S. government has taken several actions, including seeking to ban the use of TikTok by government employees and military personnel and seeking to force the sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations to an American company.
Along with paganism, TikTok has been accused of actively promoting suicide videos for children as young as 13 years old.
WATCH: Rep. Bob Latta Slams CEO of China’s TikTok over Dangerous Trends Killing American Children
House Committee on Energy and Commerce / YouTube
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