Donald Trump Launches TikTok Account After Guilty Verdict

The former U.S. President has joined TikTok, a platform he previously attempted to ban, by posting a video from an UFC event, in his attempt to win a younger audience's support.

AceShowbiz - In a surprising move, Donald Trump, the former U.S. President and current Republican frontrunner, has joined TikTok. This comes despite his earlier efforts to ban the app during his presidency.

Trump's first video, posted during an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event in Newark, New Jersey, quickly went viral. By Sunday afternoon, Trump's TikTok account had attracted nearly 3 million followers, dwarfing President Joe Biden's follower count, which stands at around 340,000.

The video opens with UFC President Dana White introducing Trump, followed by the former President telling the camera, "It's my honor," before engaging with the audience. Trump also reenacted his arrival for the video, adding, "That was a good walk-on, right?" His enthusiastic reception included cheers and chants from the crowd, reflecting the UFC event as an appealing venue for his TikTok launch.

Trump's campaign spokesperson, Steven Cheung, explained the strategic timing, "We will leave no front undefended ... This represents the continued outreach to a younger audience consuming pro-Trump and anti-Biden content. There's no place better than a UFC event to launch President Trump's TikTok ... He received a hero's welcome and thousands of fans cheered him on."

Trump's foray into TikTok is particularly notable given his previous attempts to ban the app citing national security concerns. As President, he had signed an executive order targeting TikTok and WeChat, though it was blocked by the courts. His shift in stance is evident in a recent interview, where he acknowledged the platform's popularity among young people, "Frankly, there are a lot of people on TikTok that love it. There are a lot of young kids on TikTok who will go crazy without it."

The political landscape on TikTok has also evolved, with a surge in right-wing content since the 2020 election. This is despite President Biden and other legislators supporting a bipartisan ban of the app, which has now passed both the House and Senate. According to a New York Times report, there have been "nearly twice as many pro-Trump posts as pro-Biden ones on the platform since November."

Trump's TikTok launch follows his recent conviction on felony charges related to falsifying business records to influence the 2016 election. Despite this legal setback, his public appearances, including at the UFC event, are calculated efforts to project strength and appeal to potential voters, particularly young and minority groups.

TikTok remains a contentious issue, with concerns from various U.S. government bodies about data privacy and security. Nonetheless, Trump's high-profile engagement with the platform underscores its growing influence in political communication. As campaigns strive to connect with younger voters, TikTok continues to play a crucial role, reflecting modern media's fragmented and dynamic nature.

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