Social media apps further enable political echo chambers that affirm beliefs

Social media has always been a battle ground when it comes to politics, but Tik Tok in particular has seen a rise in this type of discourse. From parodies to voiceovers, the political divide seems to be more apparent than ever. 

“Social media, in general, allows political viewpoints to spread on a much more wide basis than they were previously before social media was a thing.”

— sophomore Spencer Smith

Presidents Joe Biden and Donald  Trump are no strangers to the scrutiny and criticism that Tik Tok users seem to embody at times. Biden has been filmed missing steps on his way into Air Force One, while Trump was trolled by a group of users who bought up tickets to one of his rallies that resulted in many empty seats. 

At the same time, both political figures have also been lauded and presented in positive lights as well. Following Biden’s victory, many Tik Tok users took to the app to film celebrations. One user @jordanpretzel commented on how he was excited to have a president with dogs back in the White House. Shortly following Trump’s fall to Biden, many Trump supporters created videos with his photo in the background memorializing his time in office.  

Unfortunately, Tik Tok is not without its concerns. Many videos have been known to be altered and edited. For example, a Tik Tok titled “Biden vs. Trump” shows Biden and Trump separately, giving their time to honor soldiers at a falling soldier gathering. Biden was seen while lowering his hand from his heart checking his watch, while Trump is viewed in an even shorter clip touching a wreath. The video provides no context and is clearly targeting a specific audience. 

Connecting with like-minded individuals may just be what most people are seeking. In the past, social media has been criticized deeply for the echo chambers they create, however, Tik Tok has become even more of an enabler of these types of political bubbles.   

“Social media allows many people to express their ideas that they wouldn’t if that format wasn’t available,” Smith said. 

Regardless of political party or the popularity of a president, it’s clear that social media and Tik Tok in particular will continue to use them as muses for content. If you don’t like President Biden, there are thousands of Tik Toks for you. And if you don’t like Donald Trump, guess what the platform has your back, too. It’s highly unlikely social media apps like Tik Tok will completely unroot our views, but they are a great place to go for affirmation of what you already believe.