Even the Biden administration can't avoid the appeal of TikTok, despite other government entities steering clear of the app due to security concerns.
The president's reelection campaign launched its TikTok account @bidenhq with an aptly-timed Super Bowl-themed video Sunday.
Donning the caption "lol hey guys," the lighthearted 26-second clip features President Biden responding to an off-camera aide's questions, asking him to pick the Kansas City Chiefs or San Francisco 49ers — "hard to decide," he answered, but said he'd choose the Philadelphia Eagles due to first lady Jill Biden's team loyalty — whether he preferred the game or the commercials, and which Kelce brother he preferred. He was also asked to choose between Trump or Biden — obviously going with the latter option.
lol hey guys
"Deviously plotting to rig the season so the Chiefs would make the Super Bowl or the Chiefs just being a good football team?" the aide asked, poking fun at a conspiracy that says President Biden rigged the contest to somehow help his reelection efforts.
"I'd get in trouble if I told you," the president responded, followed by a brief flash of the "Dark Brandon" meme he also posted on X that night.
Just like we drew it up. pic.twitter.com/9NBvc5nVZE
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 12, 2024
The last two questions, poking fun at right-wing conspiracy theories and at his likely opponent in the 2024 presidential race, serve as evidence the Biden campaign will be using the platform to try to gain or rebuild support for his 2024 presidential run. This is particularly true as his camp tries to get support from younger voters known to use the app as an information source and credited with helping the Democratic party win some recent races.
But some of these potential supporters were confused by the president's about-face on using the app, with one user commenting, "Why did they make Biden an account on the very app that he's threatening to ban."
This is in part due to the president's campaign originally leaving TikTok out of its social media strategy because it said it didn't need to use the politically controversial app to draw voters.
The other source of confusion lies in the security risks President Biden and other politicians have voiced related to the Chinese-owned app's data collection. These risks have led to bipartisan lawmakers calling for the app to be banned in the U.S., and to the president signing legislation in 2022 blocking TikTok use on most federal government devices.
Meanwhile, users have seemed to be unfazed by the potential risks, as TikTok has continued to be one of the most widely used online platforms for years.
For now, the Biden administration appears to agree that the rewards outweigh the risks. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Monday that the Biden campaign's use doesn't mean the "national security concerns" about the app aren't still present, and the Biden campaign said it's taking "advanced precautions" to ensure security.
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