According to information from the Washington Post, Meta (the parent company of Facebook) is paying Republican consulting firm Targeted Victory to orchestrate a smear campaign against TikTok. Strategies include publishing opinion pieces and letters to the editor of local media telling dubious stories to present TikTok as a threat to young people.
A director of the consulting firm, who has kept his name anonymous, told the paper that the campaign should convey the following message: “While Meta is the current punching bag, TikTok is the real threat, especially as a foreign-owned app. which is #1 in sharing data that young people are using”.
Campaign involved presenting TikTok as a danger to young peopleSource: Reproduction: Solen Feyissa/Unsplash
Targeted Victory even asked partners to submit dangerous trends among teens to the media to demonstrate the app’s harm. A spokesperson for the video social network said the company is concerned about the rise in news about “alleged trends not found on the platform”.
Meta’s Director of Communications Andy Stone defended the campaign saying, “We believe that all platforms, including TikTok, must face a level of scrutiny consistent with their growing success.”