Blockbuster report claims Facebook paid to have TikTok attacked as “dangerous” in the media

The Washington Post reported last week that a third-party consulting firm was paid by Meta (Facebook’s parent company) to run a campaign in the U.S. designed to turn the public against Facebook. To achieve that goal, the consulting firm used op-eds and letters to the editor in major publications to spread stories about negative trends that were claimed to have started on TikTok but were actually started on Facebook.
The letters and op-eds sent to newspapers would call on local politicians and political reporters to damage Facebook’s largest competitor and the most downloaded app in the world last year with 656 million installs worldwide. Four of the ten most downloaded apps globally in 2021 were owned by Facebook which explains why Facebook is desperate to put the hurt on TikTok.

The consulting firm, named Targeted Victory, is one of the top consultants to the Republican party which is why it is bringing the same techniques it would use in an election, to the tech world. Internal emails shared with The Washington Post showed that the consultants tried to portray TikTok as a danger to U.S. families and children.

The app is owned by Chinese internet firm ByteDance and in 2020 then President Trump attempted to ban the app in the U.S. while seeking to get TikTok into the hands of a U.S. company. Eventually, nothing was accomplished as the White House appeared to lose interest in TikTok.

For those unfamiliar with TikTok, it is a short-form vertical video app that records and streams clips ranging in length from 15 seconds to 10 minutes. Content includes jokes, pranks, lip syncs, musical performances, dancing, and even iPhone tips.

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