Trump Joins TikTok Despite Calls for Banning the App 

Tik Tok social media application emblem on smartphone screen close-up. Android Google Play Store app on wooden table. 3d rendered. Russia, Chuvash Republic, Cheboksary. 08/31/2020

Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump announced over the weekend that he has joined the social media platform TikTok.

The former president announced this by posting a launch video on his verified account, known as @realDonaldTrump. The video showed him waving to fans at an Ultimate Fighting Championship event that was held in Newark, New Jersey, last Saturday night.

In the clip, which lasted 13 seconds, the president of UFC, Dana White, said:

“The president is now on TikTok.”

Trump then responds:

“It’s my honor.”

In just about four hours after being posted to TikTok, the video garnered more than 2.7 million views, as well as more than 500,000 likes..

Trump joining a new social media platform comes amid two events. 

Last Friday, the Trump Media & Technology Group Corp., which is the parent company of the Truth Social platform, experienced a huge drop in its share price. That happened following the fact that Trump was convicted on all 34 felony counts levied against him in the hush money case in New York City one day before.

The other story here is that Trump is joining the social media platform a few months after President Joe Biden’s campaign did — even as both men have railed against the safety and security of TikTok in the past.

While he was in the White House, Trump was the first one to threaten to ban TikTok in the U.S. if ByteDance — the parent company of the platform that’s based in China — doesn’t sell to an American company.

Those efforts failed while Trump was president, and ultimately, the government didn’t do anything to force ByteDance’s hands.

That’s not the case under Biden. Just last month, Congress passed a bill that Biden signed that will ban TikTok if the company doesn’t sell to an American company within a year.

People who have been fighting for this ban argue that China holds a dangerous amount of influence over what U.S. users see on the platform, and could give the Chinese government access to users’ information.

Yet, the fact that both of these candidates still joined the platform, despite their serious concerns about its safety and security, speaks volumes about how highly they value the power of TikTok.

The platform is especially popular among young people in the U.S., which is a voting cohort that both Trump and Biden need to attract to their side if they want to win November’s election.

Even though Trump railed against TikTok when he was president, he seemed to take a different tone in the last few months. In fact, in April, Trump posted on Truth Social:

“Just so everyone knows, especially the young people, Crooked Joe Biden is responsible for banning TikTok. He’s the one pushing it to close, and doing it to help his friends over at Facebook become richer and more dominant, and able to continue to fight, perhaps illegally, the Republican Party.”