President Joe Biden’s unofficial reelection campaign will rely on numerous social media personalities, including many on TikTok, a platform which his administration previously threatened to ban, according to Axios.
The Biden campaign will deploy hundreds of content creators to praise Biden’s record and potentially have a dedicated briefing room at the White House soon to improve Biden’s reputation with young voters, according to Axios. The collaborative strategy is largely targeting TikTok, despite the Biden administration threatening the popular video app’s Chinese parent, ByteDance, to sell the platform or risk being banned in the U.S. due to national security risks.
Young people are a necessary voting bloc for Democrats to win elections and TikTok is a platform they prefer, according to Axios. It is also an effort to combat former President Donald Trump’s huge social media presence if he becomes Biden’s opponent in 2024.
The strategy will link influencers nationwide to reach people who may not follow the White House or Democratic Party on social media or who do not pay attention to traditional sources of media, according to Axios.
“We’re trying to reach young people, but also moms who use different platforms to get information and climate activists and people whose main way of getting information is digital,” Jen O’Malley Dillon, White House deputy chief of staff, told Axios.
The Biden administration has made Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty assistant to the president, which is an equivalent to White House communications director and press secretary, according to Axios. The president has four digital staffers who work in an official capacity for the White House rather than Biden’s campaign, but they are currently working to sway young and suburban voters through social media creators.
A Democratic communications consultant and two-time Democratic presidential campaign staffer Madeline Twomey advised a group of TikTok influencers called Gen-Z For Change purporting to be an “advocacy” non-profit, according to the Daily Caller. She coached them on how to promote Biden on social media during the 2020 presidential campaign and discussed it in an interview with the Social Media & Politics podcast in 2021.
Twomey also has a long-term connection with Flaherty and they overlapped at the Biden For President campaign, according to the Daily Caller.
The Senate unanimously passed a bill that banned TikTok from government-issued devices in December. The Biden administration threatened to ban TikTok nationwide if ByteDance’s owners did not sell its shares in March.
Capitol Hill and the Biden administration have raised concerns that the app is a risk to national security due to its Chinese ownership, stating that their law could force ByteDance to hand over American user information to Beijing or alter its algorithms to influence what Americans view on the platform.
Beijing-based ByteDance reportedly surveilled U.S. journalists in 2022, according to Forbes. Chinese law enables the government to obtain information from businesses based there for national security reasons, according to CNBC.
The White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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