Former President Trump Joins TikTok And Takes It By STORM...

By Lisa Pelgin | Monday, 03 June 2024 05:15 AM
Views 2.7K
Image Credit : Photo by Reuter

In a surprising turn of events, former President Donald Trump has made his debut on the popular video-sharing platform, TikTok.

Despite his previous attempts to ban the Chinese app during his presidency, Trump has now embraced the platform, amassing over 22 million views on his first video within hours of its posting.

The video, posted from the Ultimate Fighting Championship 302 in New Jersey, has also helped Trump gain more than 1.1 million followers as of Sunday morning. "The President is now on TikTok," announced UFC President Dana White in a 13-second clip, to which Trump, 77, responded, "It's my honor," during a mashup of him greeting fans.

Trump's decision to join TikTok comes despite his previous efforts to block the app in the U.S. As President, Trump signed an executive order in 2020 to ban the app, citing national security concerns. However, the courts overturned this action.

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In a surprising twist, by March of this year, Trump had changed his stance on the app. He argued that banning TikTok would only serve to strengthen Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. "Just so everyone knows, especially the young people, Crooked Joe Biden is responsible for banning TikTok," Trump wrote in an April post on Truth Social, his own social media platform. "He is the one pushing it to close, and doing it to help his friends over at Facebook become richer and more dominant, and able to continue to fight, perhaps illegally, the Republican Party."

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Following the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, Trump was banned from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, now known as X. He has since been allowed back on these platforms. During his exile from mainstream social media, Trump turned to Truth Social, where he has kept most of his social media activity.

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Meanwhile, GOP megadonor Jeff Yass, who has a roughly $33 billion stake in ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, has been lobbying Republicans in the House to derail efforts against TikTok. Critics have speculated that Yass may have influenced Trump's reversal on TikTok.

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President Biden, who signed a bipartisan divestment bill targeted at TikTok, has also launched a TikTok account in an attempt to mobilize young voters. In April, both chambers of Congress passed legislation to compel ByteDance to divest TikTok within about nine months or face a ban in the U.S.

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TikTok, which boasts a user base of over 170 million in the US, has vowed to fight this law. Despite being based out of Singapore and Los Angeles and claiming that user data is protected, ByteDance, based in Beijing, must answer to the Chinese Communist Party.

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Last week, Donald Trump Jr. also began using TikTok, where he posted about El Salvador President Nayib Bukele's inauguration.

In other news, last Thursday, Trump became the first commander-in-chief in the 247-year history of the country to be convicted by a jury on 34 counts over a hush-money case in Manhattan. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has vowed to appeal the ruling. His sentencing is scheduled for July 11 at 10 a.m., just days before the Republican National Convention is set to begin.

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