By Kaitlin Dunn
Like the rest of social media, politics has their influencers. During the 2020 Elections, political TikTok reached new heights, with influencers on both sides garnering new followers and interactions solely from making political content.
While political TikTok has died down, its influencers have simply changed their playbook.
Christian Walker is one such influencer, although he has been popular on the Internet for much longer than the brief phenomenon that was political TikTok.
A student at the University of California, Los Angeles, Walker was popular on Instagram for his lavish lifestyle, cheerleading, and for being Hershel Walker’s son, a popular former football player.
In 2020 though, his followers saw a shift in his content as Walker leaned into a more political side.
“In summer 2020, Christian Walker’s content on social media began to take a negative turn. Once, he would post photographs of himself on Instagram accompanied by endearing and inspirational captions. Now, Walker uploads various IGTV videos, Reels, and screenshots of tweets from his Twitter account, all with disturbing rants and politically charged captions attached,” Georgia State University student and StudyBreaks writer Ariana Quijano said.
Followers wondered if Walker was simply capitalizing on the fame that was to be found in political TikTok, as his status as a Black, gay man seemed contradictory to the conservative ideologies that he was toting.
It was this dichotomy, however, that made Walker more popular. His comments quickly filled with those questioning if it was satire, and hate comments asking how he could support Donald Trump considering his policies. Walker was quickly on everyone’s For You Page.
“Although his content is absurd and sometimes unsettling, it is also fascinating. Walker’s tirades have evolved into a staple of his Instagram page, something instantly recognizable. Essentially, he has learned how to use the Internet as intended and garner attention,” Quijano said.
Shortly after this newfound fame, however, Walker was removed from TikTok for his arguably inflammatory content, and those who found him via that app did not migrate to his other platforms, such as Instagram and Twitter.
Recently, however, Walker was allowed back on TikTok, with yet another brand change.
As opposed to capitalizing on political TikTok once more, Walker has appeared more middle of the aisle, taking advantage of Biden’s low popularity and approval ratings when he does utilize political content for his TikToks.
“I don’t want to be drafted into war with the big muscle men, I didn’t vote for Biden, I wanna stay home and shop … Damn it,” Walker said in a TikTok from Feb. 24. This TikTok related to many of Walker’s viewers and former naysayers, and has garnered two million views to date.
Typically, however, Walker stays away from discussing politics now, keeping that for his Instagram stories and Twitter account. Walker leaned into a more materialistic and easily approachable persona that has resonated with a wider audience, discussing how he “can’t resist a man with a beard,” and how he finds calling women gold-diggers “atrocious.”
With this rebrand, Walker has begun to appeal to those who typically lean left.
His comments are full of liberals claiming that Walker is “in his redemption era,” and that he has been “slaying lately.”
Despite this rebrand, however, Walker is still toting dangerous politics on his other platforms, all of which are easy to find if you look at his other social media, such as a transphobic dig at swimmer Lia Thomas.
Despite his re-brand on other social media platforms, Walker has not changed his tune overall.
It is important to fully understand who you are supporting, and not just blindly begin to support someone who you used to critique.
Walker’s change in politics is simply to appeal to a wider audience, not a change of heart.
Photo Courtesy of @christianwalk1r via Instagram
Featured Photo Caption: Part of the reason Walker saw levels of fame typically unknown to political TikTokers was his seemingly comedic and satirical takes. Walker would engage in angry rants calling Liberals and Joe Biden “ghetto,” all while listening to Doja Cat in the Starbucks drive through.