Facebook bizarrely paid a Republican firm to push a notion that TikTok is a threat to kids

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Facebook owner reportedly paid Republican firm to push message TikTok is  'the real threat' | TikTok | The Guardian
Facebook bizarrely paid a Republican firm to push a notion that TikTok is a threat to kids

According to reports, Facebook’s owner funded a Republican firm to promote the concept that TikTok is “the actual threat.”
Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, requested a campaign alleging TikTok of being a danger to American children, and the effort was successful.

Campaign strategists distributed tales to local media outlets, including some that were unfounded, that linked TikTok to allegedly dangerous trends popular among youths, including rap music.
Campaign strategists distributed tales to local media outlets, including some that were unfounded, that linked TikTok to allegedly dangerous trends popular among youths, including rap music.
Meta, the company that owns Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, is apparently paying a prominent Republican consulting firm to instill public skepticism in the TikTok video-sharing app.

It was initiated by the Republican strategy firm Targeted Victory and involved the publication of op-eds and letters to the editor in numerous publications, accusing TikTok of being a danger to American children, among other derogatory charges against the company and its founder.

The firm wanted to “get the message out that while Meta is the current punching bag, TikTok is the real threat, especially as a foreign owned app that is #1 in sharing data that young teens are using,” wrote a director for the firm in a February email that was revealed by the Washington Post as part of a trove of emails that were leaked to the media.

In the words of another staffer, “the dream would be to acquire pieces with headlines like ‘From dances to danger: how TikTok has become the most detrimental social media area for youngsters,'” which reads “From dances to danger.”

Stories about TikTok were promoted to local media by campaign strategists, some of which were baseless, and which linked the app to allegedly harmful trends prevalent among youths — despite the fact that those trends originated on Facebook.

Students destroyed school property in the viral 2021 “devious lick” craze, which became popular in the following year. “Devious lick” was a topic that Targeted Victory promoted to local publications in Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC. According to an investigation conducted by Anna Foley for the podcast Reply All, the tendency began on Facebook and then expanded from there.

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Campaign workers also utilized anti-TikTok messages to divert attention away from the negative publicity that Meta has gotten as a result of its data privacy and antitrust practices.

The worker at Targeted Victory wrote, “Bonus points if we can include this into a bigger messaging that the current bills/proposals are not where [state attorneys general] or members of Congress should be concentrating their efforts.”

a TikTok representative stated in a response to the Post that the firm was “very worried” about “the fueling of local media headlines on claimed trends that have not been discovered on the platform.”

According to the Washington Post, a Meta spokesperson, Andy Stone, justified the ad, stating, “We feel that all platforms, including TikTok, should be subjected to a level of scrutiny commensurate with their increasing popularity.”

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