Updated Feb 12, 2024 - Politics & Policy

"lol hey guys": Biden campaign joins TikTok to reach young voters

Joe Biden during a meeting with Olaf Scholz, Germany's chancellor, not pictured, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Friday, Feb. 9

President Biden during a meeting in the Oval Office on Feb. 9. Photo: Julia Nikhinson/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's re-election campaign officially launched its TikTok account on Sunday with a Super Bowl-themed video.

Why it matters: The move comes after Axios first reported in November that the Biden campaign has been weighing joining the app to reach younger voters on the platform, despite data security concerns surrounding the Chinese-owned company.

Driving the news: In a video captioned "lol hey guys," Biden answered fun Super Bowl related questions such as "game or commercials" and "Jason Kelce or Travis Kelce."

  • As of Monday afternoon, the video had 5.2 million views.
  • "In a media ecosystem that is more fragmented and personalized than ever, it's even more important to get our message across every channel and every platform possible," Biden campaign advisers told Axios Monday.
  • The campaign is "incorporating a sophisticated security protocol to ensure security" while on the app, the advisers added.

Between the lines: Voters of Tomorrow, a Gen Z-led nonprofit focused on getting young people involved in politics, said in a statement emailed to Axios on Monday: "Our generation will undoubtedly be the deciding factor this November, and we are glad to see the Biden campaign making engagement with us a top priority."

State of play: Last year, the Biden administration warned TikTok that it could face a ban in the U.S. if its parent company, ByteDance, didn't sell its stake in the U.S. version of the app.

  • TikTok critics argue it could put U.S. customer data at risk because Chinese law requires China's companies to share information with the government.
  • Yet, TikTok maintains that it operates independently and protects U.S. data through an alliance with Oracle, which firewalls the data from overseas access.
  • The White House mandated last year that federal agencies remove TikTok from phones and systems.

Editor's note: This story was updated with a statement from Voters of Tomorrow.

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