Biden Campaign Joins TikTok Ahead Of Presidential Election

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) called out the Biden-Harris campaign for joining TikTok on Super Bowl Sunday after the administration signed legislation banning the app from most federal devices in 2022.

“Hey, by the way, we just joined TikTok,” the campaign’s post on X read on Sunday, with the campaign’s first TikTok video of the president answering quizzes about the Super Bowl.

“Biden’s campaign bragging about using a Chinese spy app even though Biden signed a law banning it on all federal devices,” Hawley wrote on X in response to the campaign’s post.

Several states also adopted the banning measure. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have called for the app, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, to be banned in the U.S. over concerns the government in Beijing might be able to access user data.

Asked in the launch video if he was rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs or the San Francisco 49ers, Biden said the Philadelphia Eagles because otherwise, “I’d be sleeping alone” as “my wife’s a Philly girl.”

He was also asked about a Taylor Swift Super Bowl conspiracy theory that some say the singer’s relationship with Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce was part of a plot to rig the NFL’s championship game and help get Biden reelected this November.

The President joining TikTok may have something to do with him trying to win over young voters. Some surveys suggest younger voters, who are more likely to see Biden as too pro-Israel, have become dissatisfied with his handling of the war in Gaza because they feel he has not done enough on student loan forgiveness.

The Biden campaign said on Monday that it was taking “advanced safety precautions around our devices and incorporating a sophisticated security protocol to ensure security.”

The app, once known for viral dance videos, has increasingly become a source of news and information, particularly for younger Americans. About 14% of U.S. adults said they regularly got news from TikTok last year, up from 3% in 2020, according to the Pew Research Center.

While TikTok does not allow paid political advertising, several campaigns have successfully used the app to build a rapport with potential voters and to help win races.