Unpacking Biden’s TikTok Tactic: Navigating Political Discourse in the Digital Age

Can Joe Biden Win Over TikTok?

In Brian Stelter’s exploration for Inside the Hive, the focus turns to Joe Biden’s campaign and its innovative embrace of TikTok, a platform gaining significant traction among younger demographics. Stelter engages in conversation with Makena Kelly, a seasoned senior writer at Wired, and Harry Sisson, a TikTok political commentator and NYU junior, to dissect the evolving landscape of digital political engagement.

Sisson, with an impressive following exceeding 800,000 on TikTok, embodies a new breed of influencers who wield considerable influence in disseminating the president’s message. Despite lacking official ties to the Biden campaign, Sisson’s knack for dissecting current events, such as Donald Trump’s “historic indictments” and the ongoing presidential campaign, positions him as a pivotal conduit for political discourse.

Biden
Biden (Credits: The New York Times)

Describing TikTok as a burgeoning arena for activism, Sisson likens the platform to an unfiltered conduit for conversations that were traditionally confined to sanctioned campaign spaces. “It’s almost just like a new way of activism,” he articulates, highlighting the platform’s role in democratizing political dialogue.

Kelly echoes this sentiment, emphasizing Sisson’s ability to cultivate trust among his diverse audience. His proficiency in distilling complex news stories into digestible content resonates with viewers seeking reliable sources amidst the deluge of information inundating social media platforms. “Harry has created an audience that trusts him,” she notes, underscoring the critical role influencers play in shaping public perception.

Recently, Kelly delved into the Biden campaign’s savvy maneuvering on TikTok, particularly its response to outlandish conspiracy theories. One instance involved debunking claims linking Taylor Swift’s Super Bowl appearance with an endorsement of the president—a narrative propagated by fervent conspiracy theorists.

Kelly applauds the campaign’s proactive stance, contrasting it with the passive approach adopted by previous Democratic campaigns. By directly engaging with and dismantling unfounded theories, the Biden campaign disrupts their momentum and prevents their proliferation.

In essence, Biden’s foray into TikTok exemplifies a strategic pivot towards leveraging digital platforms to engage with younger demographics and combat misinformation. As political discourse continues to evolve in the digital sphere, the role of influencers like Sisson becomes increasingly pivotal in shaping public opinion and dismantling falsehoods.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.