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Biden campaign joins TikTok after sources said it wouldn't

Last year, sources told NBC News that the president’s 2024 campaign wouldn’t join TikTok after the Biden administration called it a national security threat.
TikTok office.
An employee at a TikTok office.Tolga Akmen / AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden's 2024 presidential campaign has joined TikTok despite sources saying last year that the campaign wouldn't formally use the social media platform.

The account is being run by campaign staff, who will be posting content regularly as the campaign does on other social media such as Instagram, Facebook, X and Threads, campaign advisers said.

"The campaign will continue meeting voters where they are, innovating to create content that will resonate with critical audiences and the core constituencies that make up the president’s diverse and broad coalition of voters," advisers said, explaining the move.

They added that no decision has been made on whether any of the campaign's "principals" would join TikTok in the future.

Addressing concerns over the security risks associated with the platform, Biden campaign advisers also said they "are taking advanced safety precautions around our devices and incorporating a sophisticated security protocol to ensure security."

“The President’s TikTok debut last night — with close to 5 million views and counting — is proof positive of both our commitment and success in finding new, innovative ways to reach voters in an evolving, fragmented and increasingly personalized media environment,” Biden's deputy campaign manager, Rob Flaherty, said.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the White House briefing Monday that the administration still has "national security concerns" about the use of TikTok. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said she couldn't speak to any conversations between the White House and Biden's campaign about the new account.

Last year, sources told NBC News that the president's 2024 campaign wouldn't join TikTok after the Biden administration called it a national security threat. They said they would instead rely on influencers and surrogates to maintain a presence promoting Biden on the platform.

In late 2022, Biden signed legislation that included a limited ban that prohibits federal employees from using the app on government devices.

The campaign posted its first video during Sunday’s Super Bowl, which showed Biden being asked to play a this-or-that-type game. The president was asked, for example, which team he was rooting for, but he said he’s a Philadelphia Eagles fan.

Asked to pick between Jason Kelce and Travis Kelce, he chose “Mama Kelce” and said he's heard that she’s known to make delicious chocolate chip cookies.

At the end, he was asked to choose between himself and former President Donald Trump.

“Are you kidding?” he said. “Biden.”

The Biden administration’s position on TikTok has frustrated young voters in the past. When it was considering?a TikTok ban?last year, Gen Z activists?warned?of the political consequences of the move, saying it would be “a slap in the face” to young voters.

Youth voter turnout has been credited with helping?Biden?and the?Democrats?win in recent years. TikTok, a social media favorite among young people, has been a powerful tool in mobilizing Gen Z?in previous elections. A survey published last March found that 20% of Gen Z got?political information from TikTok?in 2022.

Biden has leaned into memes and internet culture in an attempt to reach young voters. His TikTok profile and first post feature the?“Dark Brandon” meme, which reappropriates a far-right dig into a symbol of Biden’s accomplishments and strength.

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