In the not-so-distant past, the Biden administration banned the use of the popular app TikTok on government devices.
But despite doing so, it appears that some politicians are continuing to use the platform to reach a wider range of constituents.
And now Senator Tom Cotton just pointed out a major hypocrisy of the Biden campaign.
Biden’s campaign weighs using TikTok to lure younger voters
According to an Axios report, President Biden’s re-election campaign has been privately weighing whether or not to jump on the TikTok trend to reach more young voters.
However, some in the government are leery about using TikTok, citing data security concerns since the app is owned by a company called ByteDance, which is based in Beijing, China.
Recent polls have suggested that Biden needs to improve his appeal to voters under the age of 30, a demographic who typically prefers Democrats by a wide margin.
In the interim, the Biden campaign has tried to reap the benefits of TikTok without actually using it by enlisting the help of younger social media influencers and by allowing the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to post on the popular platform.
Some well-known Democrats, including Governors Gretchen Whitmer and Gavin Newsom, Senator Cory Booker, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have all used the platform regularly.
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro also uses TikTok and said that he is “trying to reach everyone, wherever they are. And that’s why I said you have to be on every platform and engage with them on my administration’s work.”
The DNC has said that it takes great care to protect its data by only using dedicated devices for TikTok.
A July Pew survey found that 59% of Americans believe TikTok could be either a minor or major threat to national security, even though it has been one of the most downloaded apps in America since 2018.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) said that the Biden campaign should not use the app for 2024 because of the national security threats it poses.
Speaking with Fox News, Cotton said that “it’s not just that governors have banned it, Joe Biden has banned it. We passed legislation last year that banned TikTok on US Government devices. Yet, Joe Biden’s campaign is now thinking, apparently, about going on to Tiktok.”
He added that “you have all of these senior aides at the White House who carry two phones, one government phone on which they can’t download TikTok, and one personal campaign phone on which they’ll be obsessively checking TikTok to look at Joe Biden’s campaign account.”
Cotton pointed out that this is likely because of “Joe Biden’s polling collapse, especially among young voters or other core Democratic constituencies.”
He also said that Biden’s campaign “is desperate to do anything, even use a Chinese propaganda app, to try to offset Joe Biden’s decline in the polls.”
The security threat isn’t stopping top Democrats
Despite the threat that using TikTok poses, it isn’t stopping several leading Democrats from using and posting on the platform.
Gretchen Whitmer posts videos under the username, “biggretchwhitmer,” a tribute to her nickname “Big Gretch,” which is often used in Democrat circles.
Governor Shapiro invited several TikTok content creators and influencers to cover the reopening of the collapsed I-95 bridge.
And Representative Jeff Jackson of North Carolina has 2.5 million TikTok followers, many more than AOC’s 942,100.
Biden did not use TikTok in 2020, but data shows that more Americans rely on the platform to get political content today, with 32% of adults under the age of 30 saying they regularly get their news from the app.
Joe Biden needs to decide and take a firm stance one way or the other about whether or not TikTok is appropriate to use in government circles.
Patriot Political will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.