Basement Biden 2.0? White House Courts TikTok Influencers Despite National Security Risk

April 10th, 2023 6:43 PM

The Biden White House is courting TikTok stars and other social media influencers to be pro-Democrat mouthpieces online, amidst mountains of evidence that the Chinese Communist-tied app poses a serious national security threat.

President Joe Biden hasn’t officially announced his 2024 campaign yet, but he’s already forming a team of White House social media influencers to spread pro-Biden, pro-Democrat messages, Axios reported. In a totally unprecedented move, the White House is even reportedly considering giving the social media influencers, including at least two TikTokers, their own White House briefing space. These moves come weeks after the White House set a deadline for TikTok to be removed from federal devices, due to the app’s Chinese government ties. The deadline has now passed.

So why would the Biden administration specifically recruit TikTok stars when the administration itself has admitted the app’s grave security risks? And why is it now considered normal for Big Tech or its influencers to act as government mouthpieces and even specifically promote a certain presidential candidate?

“We are witnessing the re-launch of the Biden from the Basement campaign. Everyone knows that Joe can’t string together two coherent sentences, so he is already recruiting young people to be his mouthpiece,” Dan Schneider, Vice President for Free Speech America, said. “This is a blatant political tactic run by a seasoned political hack from the Hillary, Beto and Biden campaigns. Google, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube own this president. It should surprise no one that the so-called ‘influencers’ are replacing Joe Biden in front of the camera, too.”

The new strategy, led by White House Digital Strategy Director Rob Flaherty, will target “young and suburban voters” primarily through “influencers and independent content creators.” Axios reported that the influencers will aim to reach voters who don’t follow Biden’s accounts or official Democrat accounts, as Biden has a fairly lackluster social media following. Flaherty has even been promoted to assistant to the president.

The influencers are reportedly so far “unpaid” but are working with the White House. Two of Biden’s influencers include “Harry Sisson, a 20-year-old NYU student who breaks down the day's news on TikTok,” and “Vivian Tu, a former trader who discusses financial topics in short clips on TikTok and Instagram.” Sisson posted anti-Trump, pro-Biden content on his TikTok profile

Axios noted that the White House gave a positive response to requests for a social media briefing space. If granted, it would give influencers regular access to the president.

The Biden administration seems to have its social media priorities out of whack. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) owns a board seat and financial stake in ByteDance, which owns TikTok. In China, all major companies (including tech companies) are directly answerable to and surveilled by the CCP. China also practices “civil-military fusion,” where everything in the economic and tech spheres is accessible to the Chinese military. Why is the White House apparently hiring TikTokers instead of addressing TikTok’s risks?

The Twitter Files and a lawsuit from the Missouri and Louisiana attorneys general revealed extensive collusion between Big Tech and the federal government (including the Biden White House) to censor Americans and promote certain narratives. Will the influencers working with the Biden White House now be specially promoted on social media platforms?

The White House did not respond to a request for comment as of the publication of this piece.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact the White House here and demand it be held to account to mirror the First Amendment, repudiate risky TikTok, and provide transparency on its social media partnerships. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.