With over 1 billion active monthly users, TikTok is now the second largest social media platform worldwide following WhatsApp. When it was announced in November 2022 that Jamal Brown was hired to “manage policy communications” in the U.S. Sector, it caused buzz in political and media circles. But Brown could take the heat from inside the Beltway; he was the Deputy Press Secretary for the Pentagon since February 2021, before that he was a National Press Secretary for Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, and previously served six years working for the Obama administration in the Office of Management and Budget. Working for the Chinese owned TikTok definitely raised eyebrows. This also comes at a time when States are cracking down on the use of the video sharing platform on government devices because of possible national security threats. According to The Washington Post, Brown responded to these allegations that they “believe the concerns driving these bans are largely fueled by misinformation about our company.” Brown’s role at the social media behemoth is clearly critical and will prove to be filled with challenges in the changing social media landscape, but his political background and diplomacy will surely serve him well. —E.W.
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