Biden Campaign Joins Chinese-Owned Social Media App

( – President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign sticks by its decision to join TikTok despite security concerns and potential ties to the Chinese government. This move, aimed at engaging young voters, has sparked debate about the risks associated with the popular social media platform.

The deputy campaign manager, Rob Flaherty, lauded the launch, calling it a significant step in reaching voters in a rapidly evolving media landscape. The campaign’s first post, featuring Biden answering Super Bowl questions and mentioning Taylor Swift, garnered over 5 million views, highlighting initial success.

However, security concerns within the administration persist. National security spokesman John Kirby reiterated the government’s stance, emphasizing ongoing concerns about data privacy and potential foreign influence. While he deferred questions about TikTok to the campaign, Kirby underscored the broader national security implications.

The FBI and FCC previously raised alarms about TikTok’s data-sharing practices, warning that the Chinese government could exploit user information. Recognizing these risks, President Biden signed legislation in 2022 banning the app’s use on government devices, except for specific law enforcement and national security needs.

Meanwhile, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States continues to scrutinize TikTok’s ownership, highlighting ongoing efforts to address security concerns surrounding the platform. Despite these challenges, TikTok boasts a massive user base in the United States, with 150 million users primarily engaging in short-form videos and viral trends.

Senator Josh Hawley criticized the campaign’s decision, citing national security implications. He pointed to Biden’s previous ban on TikTok on federal devices, saying the campaign’s move is contradictory.

In response to questions about security measures, the Biden campaign emphasized its cautious approach to using TikTok. The campaign said it operates a separate cellphone dedicated to engaging on the platform, ensuring a degree of isolation from other communication channels to mitigate potential risks. While additional security measures have been implemented, specifics were not disclosed.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre distanced the administration from the campaign’s decision, saying they had no advance notice of the TikTok account creation.

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