Biden the President Wants to Curb TikTok. Biden the Candidate Embraces Its Stars.

The White House is so concerned about the security risks of TikTok that federal workers are not allowed to use the app on their government phones. Top Biden administration officials have even helped craft legislation that could ban TikTok in the United States.

But those concerns were pushed aside on Thursday, the night of President Biden’s State of the Union address, when dozens of social media influencers — many of them TikTok stars — were invited to the White House for a watch party.

The crowd took selfies in the State Dining Room, drank bubbly with the first lady and waved to Mr. Biden from the White House balcony as he left to deliver his speech to Congress.

“Don’t jump, I need you!” Mr. Biden shouted to the young influencers filming from above, in a scene that was captured — naturally — in a TikTok video, which was beamed out to hundreds of thousands of people.

Thursday’s party at the White House was an example of Mr. Biden’s political concerns colliding head-on with his national security concerns. Despite growing fears that ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, could infringe on the personal data of Americans or manipulate what they see, the president’s campaign is relying on the app to energize a frustrated bloc of young voters ahead of the 2024 election.

“From a national security perspective, the campaign joining TikTok was definitely not a good look — it was condoning the use of a platform that the administration and everyone in D.C. recognizes is a national problem,” said Lindsay Gorman, head of technology and geopolitics at the German Marshall Fund and a former tech adviser for the Biden administration.

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