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Divided Trump Camp Contemplates Joining TikTok, The Very App He Attempted to Prohibit!

As ironic as it may sound, former President Donald Trump’s campaign team is considering a shift to the very platform he attempted to ban from the United States not too long ago – TikTok. This unexpected move reflects a deep-seated divergence within the Trump team about how to approach this global social media sensation which, despite facing an existential threat from the Trump administration, has grown stratospherically in both popularity and influence.

Trump’s crusade against TikTok was propelled by concerns about national security, with the administration citing the potential risks of the Chinese-owned app amassing vast amounts of data of U.S. citizens. However, these warnings did not deter millions of Americans from downloading and using the app, particularly younger demographics who have demonstrated a growing political consciousness.

This is, in essence, the crux of the divergent views within the Trump team. On one hand, there are those who still identify closely with Trump’s suspicion of Chinese technology and hold staunchly to the potential security threats posed by TikTok. They contend that aligning the Trump brand with an app which may pose a national security risk would be inconsistent with the broader messaging of the campaign.

On the other hand, there are pragmatists within the team who see TikTok as an unignorable platform to communicate with and mobilize young voters. This cohort recognizes the uniqueness of TikTok’s algorithm and its potential to deliver messages virally and organically in ways traditional social media platforms can’t. Failing to take advantage of TikTok, they argue, could mean missing out on a tremendous opportunity to directly communicate with potential young voters — a group any political entity can ill afford to dismiss.

The decision to potentially join TikTok has been part of a broader question about the future direction and strategy of Trump’s political operation. While he is not currently in office, Trump still commands a significant and loyal following. How they can best be reached and engaged is the key question facing his campaign team. The same challenge holds true for addressing and appealing to potential new supporters, the growing majority of which are now digitally native and increasingly politically engaged via social media channels like TikTok.

Numerous successful political movements have been launched on TikTok. Case in point, the app played a key role in mobilizing significant support for Bernie Sanders’s 2020 campaign and has been widely used by the Black Lives Matter movement. With these examples serving as powerful testimonies to the app’s influence, weighing the impact against potential security risks is undoubtedly a complex challenge.

Additionally, Trump’s campaign may need to navigate the unpredictable challenge of moderation policies. After the fallout of the January 6th Capitol riot, major social media outlets took an aggressive stance, culminating in Trump being banned from platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Should the campaign team choose to engage on TikTok, how the platform’s management deals with Trump’s content could become yet another unpredictable factor to consider.

The debate concerning the possible move to TikTok signifies the complex dynamics at play in the world of digital political campaigning today. As the Trump campaign weighs its options, it serves as a reminder of the enduring struggle between recognizing new avenues of influence and maintaining consistent messaging, particularly in an era where the boundaries between politics, technology and national security are becoming evermore blurred.

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