President Joe Biden is officially in Tik Tok.
Biden’s campaign announced it had joined the platform in the middle of the Super Bowl on Sunday. In Biden’s first post, they have asked him a series of questions, such as whether he prefers the Kansas City Chiefs or the San Francisco 49ers. At the end, an employee jokingly references the bizarre conspiracy theory that the White House rigged the game in favor of the Chiefs to get Taylor Swift approval.
“Deviously conspiring to rig the season so that the Chiefs would get to the Super Bowl or so that the Chiefs would simply be a good football team?” The employee asks Biden.
“I would get in trouble if I told you,” Biden responded.
Biden campaign advisers cite an increasingly fragmented media ecosystem as one of the main reasons the campaign finally joined the platform.
“A few years ago, young voters were practically ignored. “We now have political power like never before and the sitting president’s campaign is on TikTok,” Jack Lobel, national press secretary for Voters of Tomorrow, told WIRED. “On TikTok, Biden’s campaign will reach millions of young people, some of whom might otherwise not hear about the president’s accomplishments on issues from climate action to education.”
Under the name @BidenHQ, the campaign says it will begin posting to TikTok regularly as it does on Facebook, Instagram and X, formerly Twitter.
Before joining TikTok on Sunday, Biden’s team seemed happy to avoid it and the politicization of its Chinese owner, Bytedance. As recently as last summera member of Biden’s staff told NBC News that he would not join the platform for the 2024 election cycle. Instead, Biden’s team opted to work with a list of young influencers to spread his message in recent years, and the Democratic National Committee operated an account supporting Biden and other Democrats who did not vote against him. Now that the campaign has its own account, it still plans to work with the influencer network during the election, Biden campaign advisers said Sunday.
Since around 2018, Congress has attempted to ban TikTok in the US, despite many lawmakers. using the app themselves. Opponents of TikTok argue that the app spies on American users on behalf of the Chinese government, providing Beijing with a secret backdoor to American data. Last spring, the Biden administration gave TikTok owner Bytedance an ultimatum to sell the app to a U.S. company or facing a total ban.
Biden campaign advisers said they are taking enhanced security measures to protect their data and devices. TikTok is currently banned on most federal devices, and a Biden spokesperson said the team logged into TikTok on a separate device used specifically to use the app.
Biden’s campaign has already leaned into referencing right-wing memes about his presidency: Shortly after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl on Sunday night, the campaign posted a photo on X (which also appeared in Biden’s first TikTok video) of the president smiling with laser eyes that has become synonymous with the “Dark Brandon” meme.
The image was titled: “As we drew it,” once again invoking Swift’s conspiracy.