In contrast to the US’s and EU’s wariness of TikTok, Latin American heads of state are embracing the platform’s global reach to advance their political messaging, often pairing clips of speeches or informal interactions with trending songs. After years building closer economic and security ties with China, politicians in South America don’t view the app as problematic as other regions of the world. And while the app is banned from government devices in the US, UK, Canada the EU and more, some political figures in the West have made their TikTok debut.
“In the US and in Europe, there is this disconnect right now, where you have the government saying no TikTok on government phones, and there’s a conversation around national security, but we still haven’t addressed the fact that governments are pretty out of touch with populations and the public,” she said. “Are you doing social media because you have to, or are you doing social media because you understand why it’s important?”