Bob Katter goes viral on Chinese-owned social media app TikTok

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He openly criticizes Chinese influence in Australia, but that doesn’t stop federal politician Bob Katter from embracing Chinese-owned social media sensation TikTok.

Bob Katter, Kennedy’s colorful member, joined the social media platform and was rapidly growing his audience, with over 7,000 subscribers in just six days.

TikTok is an app that allows users to create and share short videos on any topic. It is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and is extremely popular with young markets.

Mr Katter admits he doesn’t use a smartphone and is campaigning for funding for mobile black spots in northwest Queensland. (

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The 76-year-old still had a way to go before he challenged Australia’s most prominent TikTok “star” – a young Perth dancer, Hannah Kate Balanay, who had 16.8 million followers and her own lineup of products.

But the MP was clearly giving it a crack.

“We tend to be the shock of TikTok, so there is the future,” Mr. Katter said this week.

“We’ve had a massive reaction because of it – people are tuning into it straight away.”

The first video of Mr. Katter showed him stalking the halls of Parliament to the tune of the Darth Vader from Star Wars with the caption “Need a little chat with the Prime Minister”.

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Users quickly flooded the comments section with references to Mr. Katter’s old catchphrases.

@joshualiamtate posted: “Yeah, I’m going to download TikTok, BUT I DON’T SPEND ANY TIME.” ‘

It was a reference to Mr Katter’s viral comment on same-sex marriage in 2017, which said he believed crocodile attacks were more of an issue in his electorate.

Mr. Katter was not afraid to bring a sense of humor to his politics.

The Katter brand

Following in the footsteps of his father, Bob Katter Snr, Mr. Katter was elected to the House of Representatives in 1993 as a member of the National Party for Kennedy.

In 2001 he left the Nationals to run as an Independent and in 2011 he formed the Katter’s Australia Party.

In the 2019 federal election, Mr. Katter won 63.3% of his electorate’s vote, with a variation of 2.3%.

Katter sharply criticized Chinese influence in Australian universities and commercial actions.

Mr Katter’s son, Robbie Katter, is now the party leader and occupies Traeger’s North Queensland seat in the State Parliament.

Kennedy MP Bob Katter and his son Robbie, Traeger Member State, stand in the bush next to a horse
Bob Katter said handing over the reins of leadership to Robbie Katter gives him more time to pursue his “enemies”.(

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“Bob has become this enigmatic, eccentric Australian politician. In a way, he ties in with TikTok’s plays, this feeling that he is this enigma,” said Dr Glenn Kefford, senior lecturer in political science at the ‘University of Queensland.

“People growing up in Melbourne or Sydney, they probably don’t understand the dynamics of North Queensland and they see it as a wild cowboy from the outside. So it’s definitely a form of entertainment,” said Dr. Kefford.

Dr Kefford grew up in the heart of the Mount Isa Katter and believed there was a political complexity and depth to North West Queensland that city dwellers often overlook.

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Residents of North West Queensland regularly face limited access to medical services, mobile phone black spots and a high cost of living.

“The Katters do so well because their approach is to focus on the disparities and inequalities in these regions around power and resources, and they are very successful at communicating them not only to voters in that region but to political elites and the media too.

“I don’t think Bob is probably going to lose Kennedy, as long as he wants to keep him. And I don’t imagine Robbie is probably going to lose now either,” said Dr Kefford.

Mr. Katter had a message for his followers on social media.

“I think young people should have fun, and for heaven’s sake, enjoy it, do outrageous things.”


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