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Have you seen the latest advertising push in the UK by social media platform TikTok? Elton features. But the timing is a tad unfortunate.

The last seven days have not been the happiest ones for Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok.

The highly popular TikTok has its fans, including Elton John who embraced it during the pandemic lockdown as another legitimate way to engage with his legions of fans. His TikTok profile links to an unusual web address:

But TikTok has come in for regulatory heat. Some would argue that TikTok has made more strenuous efforts to comply with privacy rules than some of its competitors.

That hasn’t stopped lawmakers around the world demanding TikTok takes some hefty action.

Elton John featured in the TikTok online campaign in May 2024

Last week, US President Joe Biden signed legislation that could see the social platform being restricted in the US unless the app cuts ties with its Chinese parent company. This week, European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen did not rule out a TikTok ban for the 27-nation bloc too.

The European Commission has just launched a second formal investigation into TikTok, alleging the company may have violated the Digital Services Act when it launched TikTok Lite in France and Spain.

In April, the US Congress approved a provision that would force ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, to sell its stake in the platform within a year or risk getting banned over concerns about national security and the safety of US user data. Biden signed the package into law last week.

What has this to do with Elton? Well, Elton is a Democrat-leaning artist who last October, quite innocuously, signed up to offer his fans various designer filters on TikTok. The problem is that in a US and European election year Biden has now vowed tough action on TikTok if it doesn’t comply with Congress’s request.

TikTok appears to be fighting back – with a surge in advertising on third party apps on smartphones – hoping that the respectable face of Elton’s filters will boost sign-ups to the social media platform. Consumers, you decide!

@eltonjohn Bring a blast of the Rocket Man to your feed with my new TikTok filter! 🚀 Thank you @TikTok ♬ Cold Heart – PNAU Remix – Elton John & Dua Lipa

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