Donald Trump Joins TikTok, Quickly Gains Two Million Followers Despite Previous Ban Attempts

Within hours of jumping onto TikTok, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump racked up over 2 million followers. This is the same platform he tried to ban when he was president, citing national security concerns.

Joining TikTok on Saturday could help Trump connect with younger voters in his third run for the White House. He’s in a tight race with Democratic incumbent Joe Biden, leading up to the November 5 election.

Biden’s campaign is already on TikTok with 336,000 followers, despite him signing a bill that would ban the app if its Chinese owner, ByteDance, doesn’t sell it. TikTok has about 170 million American users.

Trump kicked off his TikTok account, @realdonaldtrump, on Saturday night with a video showing him greeting fans at a UFC fight in Newark, New Jersey. The video has already racked up more than 34 million views. Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said they’ll “leave no front undefended” in their efforts to reach younger voters.

@realdonaldtrump

Launching my TikTok at @UFC 302.

♬ original sound – President Donald J Trump

ByteDance is fighting in court against the law requiring it to sell TikTok by next January or face a ban. The White House insists this is necessary for national security. TikTok argues it won’t share U.S. user data with the Chinese government and has taken steps to protect user privacy.

Back in 2020, Trump’s attempt to ban TikTok was blocked by the courts. In March, he called the platform a national security threat but also said banning it would hurt young people and only benefit Meta’s Facebook, which he’s criticized.

US presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Credit: supplied.
It comes just days after Trump was found guilty on all counts in the New York hush money trial. Credit: supplied.

Trump already has a strong social media presence with over 87 million followers on X and more than 7 million on his own platform, Truth Social, where he posts almost daily.

A U.S. appeals court recently set a fast-track schedule to consider the legal challenges to the new law. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has scheduled oral arguments for September after TikTok, ByteDance, and a group of TikTok content creators, along with the Justice Department, asked for a quick schedule.

It comes just days after Trump was found guilty on all counts in the New York hush money trial. The historic verdict marks Trump as a felon and the first American president to endure a criminal conviction.

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