Meta allegedly paid consulting firm to undermine TikTok

Meta paid political consulting firm Targeted Victory to undermine TikTok
06 April 2022

A report has alleged Meta paid political consulting firm Targeted Victory to undermine TikTok. Internal emails, apparently seen by the Washington Post, allegedly suggested the firm’s campaign aimed to show TikTok as “a danger to American children". 

The campaign purportedly included placing opinion pieces and letters to the editor in US regional news outlets promoting dubious stories about alleged TikTok trends that actually originated on Facebook. 

This included a purported Devious Licks challenge, which encouraged damage to school property, and reports of a rumoured Slap a Teacher challenge, which an investigation by news site Insider suggested did not in fact exist. In response to the article, TikTok said: "We are deeply concerned that the stoking of local media reports on alleged trends that have not been found on the platform could cause real world harm." Chief executive of Targeted Victory Zac Moffatt tweeted "The story infers that the words of the letters to the editor were not the authors' own, nor did they know of Meta's involvement. That is false." 

When approached for comment, a spokesperson from Meta merely stated that the social media giant believes all platforms, including TikTok, should face a level of scrutiny consistent with their growing success.

 - CyberBeat



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