February 23, 2024

The Biden campaign has launched a TikTok account in a visible effort to reach younger voters.

In the President’s first video, posted last night at the time of the Super Bowl, he answered questions like “Jason Kelce or Travis Kelce”, “games or commercials”, and “Trump or Biden”. You can guess his answer to that last one. The video, which garnered 4.2 million views, was captioned simply: “lol hey guys”.

Credit: TikTok / @bidenhq.

Biden’s re-election campaign has a TikTok presence despite its own battles with the app, owned by China-based company Bytedance. In March last year, the Biden administration told TikTok to cut ties with its parent company, or else face a total ban in the country.

Federal agencies in the U.S. ordered all government officials to remove TikTok from their professional devices last year. Several prominent Democrats have active TikTok accounts where they post political content, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cory Booker.

The President’s campaign advisors told Axios that they’re working to get their message across on as many platforms as possible in the run-up to this year’s election.

“In a media ecosystem that is more fragmented and personalized than ever, it’s even more important to get our message across every channel and every platform possible,” they said. The advisors also added that they are incorporating a “sophisticated security protocol to ensure security”.

The campaign is leaning into social media and memes, also having shared a Super Bowl-themed post referencing far-right conspiracy theories around the game, Taylor Swift, and Biden’s bid for re-election. Posting on platforms like TikTok will certainly reach younger voters: 63 percent of teens in the U.S. say they use the app.

How social media platforms protect integrity during worldwide elections this year will likely be a point of conversation and contention. TikTok has made it clear that they do not accept paid political ads, yet voter misinformation has been proven to circulate on the app. Both TikTok and Meta have laid out plans to combat such misinformation, but only time will tell.

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