Snippet: Facebook Paid GOP Firm to Malign TikTok ☇

Shared on March 13, 2023

Taylor Lorenz and Drew Harwell for The Washington Post:

Employees with the firm, Targeted Victory, worked to undermine TikTok through a nationwide media and lobbying campaign portraying the fast-growing app, owned by the Beijing-based company ByteDance, as a danger to American children and society, according to internal emails shared with The Washington Post.

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.

Campaign operatives were also encouraged to use TikTok’s prominence as a way to deflect from Meta’s own privacy and antitrust concerns.

I think I saw this headline when it was first published, scanned it, and thought nothing of it. A year later it seems especially relevant with all the bans being discussed and how Facebook Meta has quite a bit to gain with TikTok out of the way. I’ve always taken the stance that TikTok is not necessarily innocent, but broad privacy laws for everyone make more sense than cherry-picking individual services.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.