‘PM_Scomo’ joins TikTok despite previous criticism of controversial Chinese-owned platform

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He’s been an accidental TikTok star for months and now Scott Morrison has joined the controversial Chinese-owned social media platform, uploading a selfie video with pet dog Buddy for his first post.

Last year, the Prime Minister criticized the video-sharing app, which is very popular with young audiences, warning Australians that it “connects directly to China”.

In 2020, the federal government asked intelligence agencies to determine whether TikTok, which collects large amounts of data, posed a threat to Australia’s security.

Analysts have long warned that ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, may be forced to share the information it collects on users with authorities in Beijing, and former President Donald Trump has tried to ban the platform. form.

“We will obviously continue to monitor them, but there is no evidence to suggest to us today that [a ban] is a step that is necessary, ”Mr. Morrison said last August.

In October, a TikTok executive appearing before a U.S. Congressional hearing said the globally popular video-sharing app was not giving information to the Chinese government and had sought to protect U.S. data.

Last year, Scott Morrison also launched a passionate attack on TikTok after the video suicide of a man was seen by children using the platform.

Social media has become, like it or not, a part of our modern life,” Scott Morrison said in a September 2020 video post.

“It makes us laugh a little, people doing silly dances. Sometimes they take the mickey from me.

“But there is a serious concern and a serious side to what’s going on with social media and we saw that with this shameful video that was uploaded to TikTok.”

@pm_scomo on Tiktok

Despite his previous criticisms, the Prime Minister opened his own official TikTok account on Christmas Eve with the nickname “pm_scomo” and has so far uploaded two video messages for the holiday season.

Scott Morrison took to Tiktok to wish Australians a Merry Christmas. (Provided: Tiktok )

“G’day TikTok, Merry Christmas from me, Bud and all of our family here to you and all of yours,” Mr. Morrison said when he first appeared while holding his pet in a 14-second video. on a Jingle Bells soundtrack.

“Stay safe, think about those who are obviously a little harsh, Buddy is going to be wrapping some presents, I’ll catch up with you later.”

Comments are disabled on behalf of Mr. Morrison.

With a federal election slated for the first half of next year, TikTok is seen increasingly important to political leaders as a means of reaching and communicating with young voters.

Last year, as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded, videos of Scott Morrison confronting ABC political editor Andrew Probyn at a late-night press conference went viral on TikTok, spawning hundreds thousands of individual views.

In a second video uploaded late on Christmas Day, the Prime Minister stands in front of a Christmas tree and reflects on the challenges of the COVID pandemic.

“Well, Merry Christmas Australia, yeah, it’s been a tough year, there’s no doubt about it,” Mr. Morrison observes.

He also congratulated the Australians who volunteered to work over the Christmas period before signing “God bless you”.

“Thank you so much for what you do, it is you who make Australia such a wonderful place.”


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