Biden’s campaign joins TikTok, even as administration warns of national security concerns with app

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s 2024 campaign is now on TikTok, even as he has raised national security concerns about the platform and banned it on federal devices.

Biden is not expected to personally join the platform, aides said, nor are the others in his administration. The account will be fully managed by the campaign team in an effort to reach voters in an increasingly fragmented U.S. population, especially as younger voters turn away from traditional platforms. The inaugural post asked the president about the Super Bowl — and referenced the latest political conspiracy theory surrounding music superstar Taylor Swift.

Both the FBI and the Federal Communications Commission have warned that TikTok owner ByteDance could share user data — such as browsing history, location and biometric identifiers — with China’s authoritarian government. Biden in 2022 banned the use of TikTok by the federal government’s nearly 4 million employees on devices owned by its agencies, with limited exceptions for law enforcement, national security and security investigations. The secretive and powerful Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has been reviewing the app for years.

Campaign officials said they had taken advanced security measures and incorporated security protocols to ensure safety, but they provided no details about the measures — nor did they provide information on whether the measures were intended to protect campaign data or voters.

A law China introduced in 2017 requires companies to provide the government with all personal data relevant to the country’s national security. There is no evidence that TikTok has transferred such data, but fears are high due to the vast amount of user data it, like other social media companies, collects.

Biden’s campaign said the BidenHQ account would regularly post content to the platform.

Biden’s campaign has a presence on Meta’s Threads, Instagram, Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, and Truth Social, the platform backed by Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

The president’s campaign has prioritized social media engagement, as well as smaller presidential-centric events, to reach audiences it believes are not tuned into traditional channels. The campaign and the White House have also expanded the reach of social media influencers, believing they can amplify the president’s message.