Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP, Pool

The Biden Campaign Wants to Reach Young Voters Through a Chinese Spyware App

Poll after poll after poll shows Joe Biden is, at best, in a dead heat with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. In fact, going up against Trump is his best-case scenario. When matched up against other Republicans, Biden’s deficit is even wider. Even with third-party candidates in the field, Biden is losing to Trump right now.

The Biden team has determined, it seems, that they need to look at ways to reach out to young voters – one of the least consistent voting blocs out there – in order to make up those deficits. Their plan? Joining TikTok, an app that is documented at this point to be taking an insane amount of your personal information and is suspected to be a spyware app for the Chinese military.

Axios picked up the scoop on the Biden team’s plans.

Zoom in: So far, Biden’s campaign has tried to benefit from TikTok without joining it, by leaning on friendly social media influencers and having the Democratic National Committee on the platform.

  • Prominent Democrats on TikTok include Govs. Gretchen Whitmer (Michigan), Gavin Newson (California) and Josh Shapiro (Pennsylvania), Sen. Cory Booker (New Jersey) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York).
  • “I’m trying to reach everyone, wherever they are,” Shapiro told Axios. “And that’s why I said you have to be on every platform and engage with them on my administration’s work.”
  • The DNC has said it takes precautions to protect its data by having dedicated devices for use on TikTok.

Of course, one of the Biden team’s problems right now is the fact that those friendly social media influencers are joining the other misinformed kids on TikTok in revolting against the Biden administration over its support of Israel.

Once Israel began its retaliation against Hamas shortly after the initial massacre, the anti-Israel crowd came out of the woodwork and began demanding a ceasefire. Despite Biden’s initial support and defense for Israel, forces on the hard left are pressuring him to ease up on his backing of the Jewish state. Gen-Z for Change, a group previously known as TikTok for Biden, has teamed up with other leftist groups to pen a public letter to the president, urging him to reverse his stance on the Israel/Hamas war.
The letter starts out with the authors touting themselves as “a diverse group of leaders, spanning race, class, and geography” and noting that they “mobilized the record youth turnout in 2020 that pushed your ticket over the finish line in key swing states.”
The authors then argue that Biden should cool it on the Israel support or risk losing younger voters.

It’s true that Americans, particularly younger Americans, are joining TikTok at a faster rate than other social media networks, and it’s disturbingly true that more Americans are getting their news from TikTok than other social media networks, but for the re-election campaign of the President of the United States to decide to join an app that the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese military have the ability to access and draw data from.

CNN revealed over the summer that there is, in fact, some data to support this. According to Yintao Yu, a former employee of ByteDance, the CCP “spied on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong in 2018 by using ‘backdoor’ access to TikTok to identify and monitor the activists’ locations and communications.” If true, that is something that isn’t necessarily limited to what’s going on in China. In China, the government has access to all data that comes into any network or server hosted there. TikTok, owned by a Chinese company, falls into that category.

Given the fact that we already know TikTok draws an insanely higher amount of personal data than any other app, this revelation over the summer strongly suggests we should be banning it in the United States. Donald Trump tried but was stymied on those efforts.

So for the Biden campaign to even be considering joining TikTok to reach out to a voting bloc that isn’t guaranteed to turn out to vote is crazy. I understand you want to get your message out far and wide, but there are much better ways to do so. 

However, the Biden campaign doesn’t have many options to do so. They aren’t going to be able to put the President out on the campaign trail. His public speaking has only gotten worse since he’s been in office. If you thought 2020 was a basement campaign, it’s likely 2024 will be even less than that. The campaign will not want to put him out in front of crowds for his mental decline to be centerstage during a key re-election bid. 

So… show the world his cognitive decline or stick him on a Chinese spyware app? That doesn’t sound like a fun choice to make, but it’s one the Biden team will ultimately have to make because Biden is too stubborn to step down after one term.

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