Biden Joins TikTok Despite Ban On Federal Accounts

( – President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign launched its official TikTok account on February 11 during the Super Bowl. Critics immediately pointed out that President Biden signed legislation in December 2022 that banned the Chinese government-linked app from all government devices. Additionally, a bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter to the Biden administration just three days earlier, asking for the app to be blacklisted in the United States. During a House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party hearing on January 31, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was able to collect data from millions of users.

During the hearing, Wisconsin Republican Representative Mike Gallagher asked Wray to outline the risks of using TikTok. Wray explained that the app’s parent company, ByteDance, was controlled by the PRC, which he said raised multiple national security concerns. He said that the PRC could use data collected by the company to conduct intelligence operations and influence operations.

Wray said one of the biggest threats was the algorithm that recommends content for users, which he said could be manipulated to propagate divisiveness and disagreement. He added that U.S. intelligence agencies would not be able to detect the algorithm. He also said that the PRC could pair artificial intelligence (AI) with data from American user accounts in its influence operations. Additionally, Wray noted how the PRC could choose to “control the software on millions of devices,” which means they would be technically compromised.

Biden’s campaign likely joined the app to reach younger voters after a damning poll recently released by USA Today/Suffolk University showed that Biden was bleeding support amongst voters under 35. Several Republican lawmakers blasted Biden for the decision, including Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley, who successfully secured the government device ban in the 2022 legislation.

Notably, Director Wray confirmed to Democratic Massachusetts Representative Seth Moulton that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could manipulate its algorithm to favor a candidate in the 2024 presidential election. The Biden campaign claimed that they joined the app to “meet voters where they are.”

Copyright 2024,