Biden campaign joins TikTok despite national security concerns

President Joe Biden walks on the South Lawn of the White House on Sunday after arriving on Marine One in Washington, D.C., and hours after the Biden campaign posted its first video of the president on TikTok during Sunday's Super Bowl despite national security concerns over the app. Photo by Nathan Howard/UPI
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Feb. 12 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden's campaign has joined TikTok, in an effort to gain young voters in his re-election bid, despite a Biden-signed law banning the popular video app on federal devices to protect national security.

On Sunday, Biden's campaign posted its first video, captioned "lol hey guys." It shows the president answering Super Bowl questions before the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.

"Chiefs or Niners? Two great quarterbacks, hard to decide. But if I didn't say I was for the Eagles, then I'd be sleeping alone. My wife's a Philly girl," Biden responded.

Biden is also questioned over whether he prefers the game or the commercials and whether he prefers the game to the half-time show, to which he answers both questions with "game."

While the TikTok video post is meant to pick up young voters, it has also sparked plenty of controversy and pushback from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle over concerns about data privacy and national security concerns about the video app and its Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance.

"TikTok was banned from all federal government devices because it's a threat to our national security," Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, wrote Monday in a post on X.

"That didn't stop the Biden campaign from joining the CCP's dangerous propaganda app."

"TikTok is a spy app for the Chinese Communist Party," Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., claimed in a post on X.

"It's used to push propaganda on American kids and steal data. It's shameful that Biden is embracing TikTok to compensate for bad polls driven by his mental decline."

Last March, the Biden administration threatened to ban TikTok throughout the United States, after banning the social media platform on all federal devices.

TikTok is one of the world's most popular apps, with more than a billion users, including 135 million in the United States.

The issue over the app's ownership by Chinese Internet company ByteDance has grown more bipartisan amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over reports that U.S.-user data has been accessed by the Chinese government.

On Monday, White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby reiterated that TikTok is still not approved for use on government devices, despite the Biden campaign's decision to join.

"It has to do with concerns about the preservation of data and the potential misuse of that data and privacy information by foreign actors," Kirby said.