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Did Biden Ban TikTok for American Workers but Open a Campaign Account? Fact Checking by Senator Britt

As U.S. Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., delivered the Republican response to President Joe Biden's 2024 State of the Union address, she highlighted a locus of conflict between his governance and his campaign.

Criticizing Biden's foreign policy, she described how China spreads “propaganda” through companies like TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance Ltd.

“And what is President Biden doing?” Well, he bans TikTok for government employees, but creates an account for his own campaign,” she said on March 7. “You can’t make this stuff up. »

Britt is correct that the Biden campaign uses TikTok, even after limiting its access to federal government employees.

By signing the Consolidated Appropriations Act in 2022, Biden in general bans federal government employees from using TikTok on agency-owned devices. There are exceptions for law enforcement, national security interests, and security research.

NBC News reported in 2023 that the Biden campaign would not be on TikTok, citing three anonymous sources. But on February 11, the day of Super Bowl LVIII, “Biden HQ» posted his first TikTok video – a cheeky reference to Conspiracy theory about Taylor Swift's CIA assets.

Wired And The Associated Press reported that the campaign uses a separate device specifically to log in and access TikTok, isolating it from communications on other devices.

In recent days, the White House has passed a bipartisan bill This would prevent ByteDance-owned apps from appearing on US app stores or websites. This means ByteDance would have to sell TikTok or face a nationwide ban.

We requested comment from the Biden campaign on this matter and have not received a response.

PolitiFact has a fact-checking partnership with TikTok; you can find out more here.

Britt said Biden banned government employees from using TikTok when they were using it for his campaign. The ban on the app applied to agency-owned devices. With this rating, we rate this statement as essentially true.

This fact check was originally published by PolitiFact, part of the Poynter Institute. See the sources for this fact check here.

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