While a broad-sweeping TikTok ban still remains to be seen, the White House has made enough passing remarks to spook anyone into second-guessing their favorite app. This year, as TikTok's popularity reached new heights and so did the alarmism, everyone from the Pentagon to Wells Fargo has advised or outright banned employees from using TikTok on their work phones. Biden's campaign staffers are the most recent employees to be instructed not to use the app.
Bloomberg News obtained an email sent by Biden campaign counsel, Dana Remus, to general staff describing the updated employee handbook. The updates outline the do's and don'ts campaign staffers should adhere to, including some unusual bans.
Remus told Bloomberg the new rules, "ensure that staff do not even inadvertently trade on nonpublic information," and they include an unprecedented ban on private stock trading (unless sanctioned, in writing, by the Campaign). Bloomberg quoted Remus' email, asking staffers to "refrain from downloading and using TikTok on work and personal devices," citing security and privacy concerns.
While experts maintain TikTok isn't an obvious threat to national security (but it's also not, not a threat), employers and government agencies have been swift to ban it from employee phones. Both the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention have warned campaigns against using the app. But, well-informed conversations about TikTok have been historically clouded by Trump's blind anti-Chinese hostility.
The Bernie Sanders campaign had a robust and teen-led TikTok presence that has become largely inactive since late March. On either side of the aisle, politicians leave their most fervent fans to do their bidding on TikTok. There is no shortage of support for everyone from Donald Trump to Alexandria Ocasio Cortez on the platform.