Meta Employs Consulting Firm to Wage Campaign Against TikTok - Media

© AP Photo / Kiichiro SatoA logo of a smartphone app TikTok is seen on a user post on a smartphone screen Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, in Tokyo
A logo of a smartphone app TikTok is seen on a user post on a smartphone screen Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, in Tokyo - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.03.2022
The campaign in question is reportedly aimed at portraying TikTok as a danger to the children in the United States and to the American society.
A consulting firm called Targeted Victory got paid by Facebook parent company Meta* to mount a campaign against social media platform TikTok, The Washington Post reports.
According to the newspaper, the campaign involves “placing op-eds and letters to the editor in major regional news outlets” and “promoting dubious stories about alleged TikTok trends that actually originated on Facebook”, with the ultimate goal being turning the public against TikTok.
Internal emails obtained by The Post reportedly suggest that Targeted Victory sought portray TikTok, which is owned by Chinese multinational company ByteDance headquartered in Beijing, as a danger to children and to the society in the United States.
“Dream would be to get stories with headlines like ‘From dances to danger: how TikTok has become the most harmful social media space for kids,’ ” one company staffer wrote.
The people involved in the campaign were also encouraged to “use TikTok’s prominence as a way to deflect from Meta’s own privacy and antitrust concerns”, as the newspaper put it.
“Bonus point if we can fit this into a broader message that the current bills/proposals aren’t where [state attorneys general] or members of Congress should be focused,” one Targeted Victory staffer reportedly wrote.
While Targeted Victory declined to respond to The Post’s questions regarding the campaign, though admitting that they have represented Meta for several years.
Illustration picture of TikTok logo - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.03.2022
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Meanwhile, Meta spokesperson Andy Stone said: “We believe all platforms, including TikTok, should face a level of scrutiny consistent with their growing success.”
*Meta, Facebook are banned in Russia over extremist activities
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