Meta, the parent company of Instagram and the Facebookreportedly hired a massive Republican digital consulting agency to run a campaign that would pit the public and lawmakers against rival TikTok.
O Washington Post reports that Targeted wins The plan to turn public opinion against TikTok involved strategically planting negative stories in major regional media outlets about TikTok’s dangerous and harmful trends.
This involved sending letters to the editor from “concerned parents” calling lawmakers to investigate the app’s effects on children’s mental health, while talking about how ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, collects user data.
All of this highlights another talking point the company was making as Meta was apparently trying to find ways to deviate from its recent privacy and antitrust issues. An email from the director told the agency to “get the message across that while Meta is the current punching bag, TikTok is the real threat, especially as a foreign-owned app that is #1 in data sharing.” that young people are using”.
The company even put together a Google document titled “Bad TikTok Clips”, which included links to obscure local news, in order to establish that TikTok was the originator of these bad trends, despite the fact that they were allegedly started in Facebook as a scamlike the “teacher slap challenge” that was said to be taking place in Hawaii.
Another was the “dishonest licks challenge”, which also allegedly started on Facebook and was covered by major media outlets such as like CNN. This challenge was said to encourage teenagers to steal or vandalize school property.
If you’re wondering what kind of effect a campaign like this has on a company, in September, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut wrote a letter to TikTok calling to testify in front of a subcommittee, stating that the app “repeatedly used and abused to promote behaviors and actions that encourage harmful and destructive acts”.
Meta said he sees TikTok as a big rival, that the popularity of Instagram and Facebook among young people is downand that TikTok is used 2-3 times more than Instagram.
Meta spokesperson Andy Stone essentially confirms the campaign, saying, “We believe that all platforms, including TikTok, must face a level of scrutiny consistent with their growing success.”