Biden's reelection campaign joins TikTok in push for young voters

12 February 2024 - 09:00
By Sheila Dang and David Shepardson

US President Joe Biden's reelection campaign joined short-form video app TikTok on Sunday, using the NFL's Super Bowl to kick off its new account to reach young voters ahead of the presidential election in November.

The campaign's launch on TikTok is notable given that the app, which is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, is under review in the US for potential national security concerns. Some US lawmakers have long called for the app to be banned over concerns that the Chinese government could access user data or influence what people see on the app.

Last year, the Biden administration ordered government agencies to remove TikTok from federal government-owned phones and devices.

TikTok has maintained that it would not share US user data with the Chinese government and has taken substantial measures to protect the privacy of its users.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

Biden campaign advisors said in a statement it would "continue meeting voters where they are," including on other social media apps like Meta Platform's Instagram and Truth Social, which is owned by former US President Donald Trump.

The campaign is taking "advanced safety precautions" for its devices and its presence on TikTok was separate from the app's ongoing security review, a campaign official added.

Trump, the Republican frontrunner in the presidential race, does not have an official account on TikTok.

The video posted by the Biden-Harris HQ TikTok account made light of a fringe conservative conspiracy theory that the Super Bowl was rigged in favor of the Chiefs, in order for pop superstar Taylor Swift, who is dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, to announce an endorsement of Biden.

Amid rapid-fire questions asking the president to choose from one of two options, Biden was asked if he was "deviously plotting to rig the season so the Chiefs would win the Super Bowl" or whether the Chiefs were simply just a good football team.

"I'd get in trouble if I told you," Biden joked.

By Sunday night, the account had gained 10,900 followers.