icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
13 Feb, 2024 20:46

Biden campaign slammed for TikTok double-standard

Critics have denounced US President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign for using a platform it banned federal employees from using
Biden campaign slammed for TikTok double-standard

US President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign has been skewered for flaunting its new TikTok account during the Super Bowl on Sunday, with many pointing out that the administration had only just prohibited federal employees from using the app last year.

Titled “Biden-Harris HQ,” the @bidenhq TikTok launched with a fluffy ‘this or that’ clip in which the president was quizzed on which football team he preferred to win Sunday’s game – and which candidate he preferred to win this year’s election. 

The campaign directed its followers on X to the new platform, which is owned by Chinese social media behemoth ByteDance, with a post on Sunday. The president’s political opponents immediately pounced. 

“Biden campaign bragging about using a Chinese spy app even though Biden signed a law banning it on all federal devices,” Republican Senator Josh Hawley observed in a post on X.

The president was “so desperate to pander to young voters he’s willing to give away his campaign’s data to Communist China,” Republican Rep. Michael Waltz agreed.

Speaking with Politico on Monday, Deputy Campaign Manager Rob Flaherty defended the move as an effort to “reach voters in an evolving, fragmented and increasingly personalized media environment.” 

Federal agencies gave their employees 30 days last February to remove the app from their devices, citing security concerns, and several state governments have also banned the platform. In the course of an ongoing, years-long investigation by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States into the app’s potential for exploitation by Beijing, the Biden administration reportedly attempted to gain even greater control over TikTok than it was recently revealed to enjoy over Facebook and Twitter, according to a draft agreement between the platform’s parent company and CFIUS from 2022 seen by Forbes. 

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby insisted on Monday that the administration’s official views regarding TikTok had not changed. The campaign was said to be skirting the app’s alleged security risks by using non-government issued phones to post.

Biden’s reelection campaign has gone out of its way to court young voters through social media outreach, with reports emerging last year that the president was even considering giving young influencers their own White House briefing room.

However, his support among the youthful demographic has nosedived in recent months, eliminating much of the advantage he enjoyed over Republican then-incumbent Donald Trump in the 2020 election, polls show. While voters’ reasons for ditching the Democrat vary, his unflinching support for Israel’s war in Gaza leads the list, according to an NBC Universal poll conducted in November. Biden’s failure to deliver on promises like forgiving student loan debt also loom large in young people’s minds, polls show.

Podcasts
0:00
25:10
0:00
26:43