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President Biden’s Campaign Launches TikTok Account Contrary to Official Stance

Highlights

  • Biden's campaign joins TikTok, sparking interest and controversy.

  • Deputy campaign manager justifies outreach to young voters.

  • White House stays quiet on campaign's separate actions.

In a move that defies the White House’s restrictions, Joe Biden’s campaign team has established a presence on TikTok, marking a distinct strategy ahead of the upcoming election. The account, known as “@bidenhq,” debuted with a humorous 30-second video that quickly captivated over 5 million viewers and amassed a following of 30,000 by the subsequent day. Biden playfully answers aides’ questions in the video, including a jest about choosing between himself and his political rival.

President’s TikTok Involvement Challenges Previous Security Concerns

Biden’s own history of security apprehensions regarding federal officials’ use of social media platforms, particularly TikTok, makes the account’s launch noteworthy. His concerns centered around data privacy and the potential for the Chinese-owned app to share information with the Chinese government. However, TikTok has countered these concerns, assuring that U.S. user data remains stateside. Despite these reassurances, Biden has previously enacted measures to restrict TikTok’s use on federal devices and even considered a nationwide ban if the platform did not sever ties with its Chinese parent company.

The campaign’s decision to engage with the popular platform, especially so close to the election period, is unexpected given Biden’s stance and the White House’s policy against government officials using TikTok.

Campaign’s Strategy to Connect with Younger Voters

Rob Flaherty, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, has defended the move, explaining that the campaign aims to innovate in reaching voters, particularly younger demographics less engaged with traditional media. The use of the “Dark Brandon” meme as Biden’s profile image on TikTok reflects this targeted approach. Additionally, the campaign emphasized that Biden himself is not directly managing the TikTok account; instead, it is the campaign team’s responsibility, for which they are taking undisclosed extra security precautions.

The Biden campaign has also replicated this social media tactic on Truth Social, another platform they joined four months prior. Furthermore, while the White House maintains its policy prohibiting TikTok on government devices, spokesperson John Kirby refrained from commenting on the campaign’s decisions, delineating a clear separation between official government policy and campaign activities.

This development raises questions about consistency in the administration’s approach to social media security and the lengths political campaigns will go to reach their electorate.