April 24, 2024

Biden Joins TikTok Despite White House’s Objections

On Sunday, during the Super Bowl, Joe Biden’s reelection campaign joined TikTok despite the White House banning government officials and agencies from doing so.

The account was launched under the name “@bidenhq” and came with a 30-second launch video captioned “lol hey guys”. The video showed the president being quizzed by aides about his Super Bowl preferences.

Questions like “Chiefs or 49ers” or “Jason or Travis Kelce” preceded the final and somewhat sensational question “Trump or Biden?” to which he replied “Are you kidding?” with a smile.

The video quickly went viral and garnered more than 5 million views and 30,000 followers by Monday Noon.

Controversy Surrounding Biden’s TikTok Account

The reason why Biden’s TikTok account is a little controversial is because he was the one who had security concerns over federal officials having a social media account.

He was concerned that TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, would share user data with the Chinese government. These allegations were refuted by Chinese officials and TikTok said that Project Texas ensures that all US data is stored in servers within the country.

Again in 2022, Biden was the one to sign the legislation that blocked TikTok on most federal devices. And last year, Biden’s administration asked TikTok to either cut ties with its parent company or risk getting banned in the US.

Even in February 2023, when the White House supported the bipartisan legislation that could ban the app, Biden responded with “I know I don’t have it on my phone.”

So it’s a little surprising to see the president on the app just 9 months before the elections.

The President’s TikTok debut … is proof positive of both our commitment and success in finding new, innovative ways to reach voters in an evolving, fragmented, and increasingly personalized media environment.Rob Flaherty,Biden’s deputy campaign manager

He also added that their goal is to meet the voters wherever they are. They are trying to reach out to those voters who don’t actively use traditional media platforms; so mostly the younger generation.

This is evident from the fact that instead of a professional photo, his profile picture on TikTok is from the “Dark Brandon” meme which features him in black and white with bright red lasers shooting out his eyes and smiling at the camera.

Aides also told the media that the president won’t be directly involved with this TikTok account and will be run by his campaign team.

He’s also using the same profile picture for his account on Truth Social—an alt-tech social media platform created by Trump Media & Technology Group which he joined 4 months ago.

On top of that, advisers said that the campaign is taking extra security measures for devices that have the app. However, they refused to divulge further information about what those security measures are.

When White House Spokesman John Kirby was asked questions about the administration’s stance on the matter, he refused to share any personal opinion.

He clarified that the policy hasn’t changed and TikTok is in fact, not allowed on government devices, But he cannot comment on what the campaign decides to do.

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