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On ‘Fox & Friends Weekend’, in the context of discussing a (Quinnipiac) poll about the degree of support "of the way Israel is responding to the Hamas terrorist attack" in the 18-34 age bracket (in the US), social media influencer Emily Austin says "most kids don't even know that Hamas is a terrorist organization", but rather they think it's a "governing body of Palestine". The claim is not literally narrowed to US kids, but I suspect that given where the context, it's probably in large part meant like that.

Is this true?

As for the exact demographics implied, the presenter acks what she says with "the education that kids are getting, K through [to?] twelve", which almost certainly refers to K-12. But he adds "or end of the university" too. His point is that said education is "captured".

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    Are the views of a single "influencer" really a notable claim?
    – Kyralessa
    Nov 5, 2023 at 7:34
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    @Kyralessa: An influencer who made their claims on Fox News? Yes. That counts as widely heard. I am more worried about the vague definition of "kids". I imagine the vast majority of US children aged 0-8 are not even aware Palestine is a country. If you broaden past the US, you get to another problem. Most countries (and the UN itself) haven't designated Hamas as a terrorist organisation.
    – Oddthinking
    Nov 5, 2023 at 8:17
  • @Oddthinking: Ok, I've changed the tag to 'kids', per the actual claim. It's the only Q so tagged. I can't find a more appropriate one here that already exists. Webster says "a young person -- kids in high school" as one of the senses. Given the talk about tiktok in the same segment, I assume it doesn't mean pre-pubescent children [in this context] as you say. Nov 5, 2023 at 10:14
  • Google finds as page that claims "The largest proportion (25%) of US TikTok users are 10 to 19 years of age". explodingtopics.com/blog/tiktok-demographics Nov 5, 2023 at 10:21
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    @Oddthinking According to the policy of 138 out of 193 UN member states, Palestine is a country, but if those US kids follow US policy, Palestine is indeed not a country. Nov 9, 2023 at 20:46

2 Answers 2

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"kids" isn't clearly defined, but most polls look at age groups 18+. In the lowest age bracket, I've found two polls showing that a significant percentage do not view Hamas as a terrorist group (though neither show >50%).


There is this jpost article. It references a yougov poll in which only 50% of respondents age 18-29 think Hamas is a terrorist organization (33% are unsure, 17% think it's not a terrorist organization). We can also see a trend where the older age groups view Hamas as a terrorist organization:

yougov poll results


There has also been a harvard harris survey about attitudes towards Hamas. Looking at the youngest age group 18-24, most view Hamas as a terrorist organization (but not by a large margin):

Asked if "terrorists" or "militants" is a better description of Hamas, 59% said "terrorists" (41% said "militants").

Despite this, 51% think the 7.10 terrorist attack can be justified & 48% side with Hamas over Israel in the current conflict.

The sample size for that age group was small though and they gave contradictory answers.

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  • I would not consider anyone 18 or over to be a kid.
    – jwodder
    Nov 5, 2023 at 10:13
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    @jwodder it is a bit of a stretch. But the quote is in direct response to a poll of 18-34 year olds. She's trying to explain why 52% of those "disapprove of the way Israel is responding to the Hamas terrorist attack". think it's fair to say that that's the age group she is referring to with "kids".
    – tim
    Nov 5, 2023 at 10:21
  • @jwodder why not? Nov 5, 2023 at 13:06
  • How does the YouGov sample size compare with Harris', in actual numbers? Nov 5, 2023 at 15:43
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    @Fizz The harris poll surveyed 2116 people, but only around 199 in the relevant age bracket. Yougov surveyed 3878 people. I couldn't find info on the age bracket distribution though. They've also run the poll two weeks later with 2424 people. Then, only 40% aged 18-29 considered Hamas terrorists.
    – tim
    Nov 5, 2023 at 15:53
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A couple more details from the Harvard/Harris poll found by tim. There were actually 2 related Qs in this one:

Do you think Hamas is more appropriately called an armed Palestinian group or a terrorist group?

In the 18-24 group the split was 37%-63%.

enter image description here

There was a 2nd Q:

Do you think Hamas is designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. government or is that not the case?

On this one, the split was 64%-36% in the same age group.

enter image description here

The poll design appears not to have allowed for an undecided response.

Knowledge of official designation by the US as terrorists (64%) happens to track closely in that age group (18-24) with their own opinion (63%), but the poll doesn't explore the correlation further.

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