The Washington Post: ‘Facebook Paid Republican Strategy Firm to Malign TikTok’

Taylor Lorenz and Drew Harwell, reporting for The Washington Post:

Facebook parent company Meta is paying one of the biggest Republican consulting firms in the country to orchestrate a nationwide campaign seeking to turn the public against TikTok.

The campaign includes placing op-eds and letters to the editor in major regional news outlets, promoting dubious stories about alleged TikTok trends that actually originated on Facebook, and pushing to draw political reporters and local politicians into helping take down its biggest competitor. These bare-knuckle tactics, long commonplace in the world of politics, have become increasingly noticeable within a tech industry where companies vie for cultural relevance and come at a time when Facebook is under pressure to win back young users. [...]

Targeted Victory needs 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,” a director for the firm wrote in a February email.

We all know that the smart way to alter the opinions of today’s teenagers is to ... place op-eds in local newspapers around the country.

Recall too that Facebook was caught using a Republican smear-campaign firm back in 2018 — their target then was George Soros.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022