President Biden’s 2024 campaign has launched on TikTok despite previous national security concerns and ongoing scrutiny over potential data sharing with China
US President Joe Biden’s 2024 re-election campaign has officially made its debut on TikTok with an account named Biden-Harris HQ (@bidenhq), despite Biden’s prior ban on the platform for federal devices over fears regarding user data security.
While President Biden himself is not expected to join the platform, aides have confirmed that his campaign team will manage the account exclusively.
The move is seen as a strategic effort to connect with voters in an increasingly diverse and fragmented American population, particularly as younger demographics shift away from traditional social media platforms.
However, John Kirby, Biden’s national security spokesperson has reiterated that the app is “not approved for use on government devices, and that remains the case.”
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The first post on the Biden campaign’s TikTok account featured the president engaging in a lighthearted Super Bowl-themed quiz. However, the post also drew attention to the latest political conspiracy theory involving music icon Taylor Swift.
Specifically, MAGA theorists claimed the Super Bowl was rigged to help Democrats win the US Election, and that Taylor Swift’s endorsement of Biden would follow the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Concerns over TikTok’s ownership by ByteDance, a Chinese company, have long loomed large in the US. Both the FBI and the Federal Communications Commission have cautioned about potential data sharing with China’s authoritarian government, including sensitive information like browsing history, location data, and biometric identifiers.
President Biden previously enacted a ban on TikTok for nearly four million federal employees, with exceptions for specific purposes such as law enforcement and national security. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the US has been scrutinizing the app for several years due to these security concerns.
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Despite reassurances from Biden’s campaign team about advanced security measures, details about these protocols remain undisclosed. The Chinese government’s 2017 law mandating companies to provide relevant personal data for national security purposes further exacerbates apprehensions surrounding TikTok.
Nevertheless, Biden’s campaign asserts that the BidenHQ TikTok account will regularly share content on the platform. The campaign already maintains a presence on various other social media platforms, including Meta’s Threads, Instagram, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Truth Social, the platform endorsed by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
Social media engagement and smaller, targeted events featuring President Biden have become focal points of his campaign strategy. The White House and the campaign team have intensified efforts to collaborate with social media influencers in amplifying the president’s message to reach a broader audience.