While some in the government are trying to ban the popular social media platform TikTok, President Joe Biden may be turning to the Chinese-owned app to help him in his reelection campaign.
According to reports, Biden is recruiting an army of TikTok influencers to help promote his 2024 reelection bid. His digital strategy team will work with hundreds of Biden influencers to reach young voters, The Daily Mail reported. This news comes even though Biden endorsed the Restrict Act — a bill limiting the use of TikTok in the U.S.
Biden influencers would promote the president’s record in the Oval Office in an attempt to draw in voters age 18 to 29, Axios reported. White House staffer Rob Flaherty, the director of digital strategy who was named assistant to the president, is spearheading the social media program.
Henry Sisson, a 20-year-old New York University student who runs a TikTok page with more than 600,000 followers, told the Daily Mail he’s already been recruited. His page offers commentary on American politics and often urges Gen Z to support the Democrats.
Sisson has already been pumping up the Democrats on his TikTok page. In one short video clip that has gone viral on TikTok, he says, “Republicans tried to silence their voices and the voices of the many Gen Z activists. They failed, and they failed badly. If you thought this was bad for Republicans, just wait until 2024. There will be a wave of young voters showing up to the ballot box, and they will vote blue.”
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Vivian Tu, a 29-year-old former JP Morgan investment banker who runs a financial advice TikTok page called YourRichBFFd, has also been recruited.
‘We’re trying to reach young people, but also moms who use different platforms to get information and climate activists and people whose main way of getting information is digital,’ Jen O’Malley Dillon, White House deputy chief of staff, told Axios.
Meanwhile, Biden and 26 senators support the Restrict Act, which would apply to foreign technologies from China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba. If passed, it will authorize the executive branch to block “transactions” and “holdings” of “foreign adversaries” that involve “information and communication technology” and create “undue or unacceptable risk” to national security and more.
In March, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew appeared before Congress and was grilled about national security concerns posed by the app.
Photo: President Joe Biden in the state dining room of the White House on April 4, 2023, in Washington. (AP/Patrick Semansky)