Facebook hires Republican strategy firm to campaign against TikTok: Report


Eleven years ago, Facebook was caught red-handed after hiring a major public relations firm to try to run articles harshly criticizing Google’s privacy practices in major news outlets.

In 2018, he hired PR firm Definers to do opposition research on critics of the company, including billionaire philanthropist George Soros. Longtime corporate communications manager Elliot Schrage took responsibility for approving the hiring of Definers and similar companies and quit Facebook.

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is using similar tactics to go after another TikTok rival. Meta, the Post reported, hired a Republican consulting firm called Targeted Victory to orchestrate a nationwide campaign against TikTok.

Targeted Victory, according to the Post, has contracts with dozens of PR firms across the United States to help sway public opinion against TikTok by running local stories and helping place editorials targeting TikTok in the whole country, according to the story.

Meta confirmed to have hired Targeted Victory.

We believe that all platforms, including TikTok, should be given the scrutiny consistent with their growing success,” spokesperson Andy Stone said in a statement.

Zac Moffatt, CEO of Targeted Victory, said the company runs bipartisan teams on behalf of our customers.

It is common knowledge that we have worked with Meta for several years and we are proud of the work we have done, he said in a statement.

The Post obtained internal emails from Targeted Victory describing a campaign to undermine TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. The company has used a mixture of genuine concerns and unfounded anxieties about TikTok in an attempt to turn public and political sentiment against it.

According to the report, Targeted Victory was also working to get proactive coverage of Facebook in local media, including submitting letters and op-eds speaking enthusiastically about Facebook’s role in, for example, supporting businesses. owned by blacks.

We are deeply concerned that feeding local media reports of alleged trends that were not found on the platform could cause real-world harm, TikTok said in a statement sent by mail. electronic.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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