Donald Trump Joins TikTok After Trying To Ban It

Image credit: ByteDance

Former president Trump joins TikTok and posts first video, after trying to ban app from US as president in 2020 on national security grounds

Former president Donald Trump joined the TikTok social media platform and posted his first video over the weekend, after formerly trying to ban the app as president on national security grounds in 2020.

The move comes as Trump seeks re-election in November, and follows shortly after he was convicted last week of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in order to conceal hush-money payments to adult actress Stormy Daniels.

Trump has gained more than 3.6 million followers since posting his first video on the platform, compared to 340,000 for rival Joe Biden.

This may be due to his positive recent comments about TikTok, which is facing a ban in the US by 19 January under a law signed by Biden in April.

Image credit: Unsplash

Executive order

As president, Trump in 2020 signed an executive order that would have banned TikTok over concerns it could pass data on Americans to the Chinese government.

Apps owned by Chinese companies “threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States”, Trump wrote in the executive order, which was later blocked by federal courts.

TikTok has always denied it could or would share data with the Chinese government.

In March Trump changed his tune, telling CNBC that while TikTok was a national security risk, banning it would strengthen Facebook as “an enemy of the people along with a lot of the media”.

Trump said he would use “every tool available to speak directly with the American people”.

Ban threat

The former president’s first video shows him attending a mixed martial-arts event in Newark, New Jersey.

His felony conviction, which was framed as an attempt to manipulate the 2016 presidential election, was the first-ever criminal conviction of a former president, but does not prevent him running for office or taking it if he should win.

His sentencing is scheduled for 11 July.

TikTok, parent ByteDance and a group of US TikTok content creators have challenged the ban law in court and the case is due to be heard in September.