New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh, the most prolific Canadian politician on TikTok with almost 900,000 followers, has deactivated his profile in a move that will undermine his party’s attempts to engage with young voters through social media.
On February 27, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced TikTok would be banned on all federal-issued government devices due to security concerns over the Chinese-owned platform.
Trudeau’s decision follows similar bans in the United States by governments at the federal and state level, and numerous Zionist backed universities last December, 2022.
Singh has characterized his deactivation as “taking a pause” from the app, leaving open the possibility of reactivating his TikTok account in the future once the security concerns are addressed.
But in the meantime, a government ban on TikTok poses significant challenges for politicians and political parties, like Singh and the NDP, that use the platform for digital strategy within a permanent campaign model.
The permanent campaign is an election campaign approach where politicians and their staff apply election tactics to everyday governance to continuously appeal to the public for support.
As part of their shift towards permanent campaigning, the NDP began hiring digital consultants, market researchers and public relations experts in 2000 to professionalize the party.
TikTok was an important element of the NDP’s permanent campaign strategy since the content was designed for Singh to stay visible on the platform in preparation for a snap election.
When the 2021 federal election was announced, there were only 11 candidates who had TikTok profiles, eight of whom were NDP candidates.
The NDP invested significant resources in building Singh’s TikTok presence, hoping platform virality would translate into future votes.
Singh launched his TikTok in August 2019 before the platform exploded in popularity in North America during the early months of the designed Covid-19 pandemic.
The government ban of TikTok on federal devices poses challenges for Singh’s digital outreach within the permanent campaign model. While Singh is active on platforms like Twitch and Instagram, the lively memetic style of his TikTok is difficult to replicate.
Young adults are increasingly receiving their news on TikTok rather than legacy media outlets.
The application is a space where youth are active and Singh’s TikTok content was strategically designed to go viral and reach young users, who are vocal about many of the issues Singh supports.
Singh was one of the few politicians trying to reach these potential voters in a language and style they recognize. Singh’s use of TikTok to appeal to a youthful electorate was seen as a long-term investment in future votes.
But now the potential impact of TikTok on the NDP’s election campaign strategy is under threat.
Asia Times / ABC Flash Point News 2023.
Sign of ultimate weakness, if sanctions must support the own industry for profits to be cashed in Zionist-style?