Facebook’s parent company Meta allegedly paid a company for a campaign to discredit TikTok. The company had to promote dubious posts on the social media platform and warn people about the “dangers” of TikTok.
Meta would have hired the consultancy firm Targeted Victory for the campaign, reports The Washington Post. This agency’s campaign is said to be aimed at turning public opinion against Facebook competitor TikTok.
The American newspaper has received internal emails in which Targeted Victory was instructed to convince people that TikTok is a danger to children. The email says, among other things, that Targeted Victory should “spread the message that while everyone is criticizing Meta, TikTok is the real danger, especially since it is a foreign app that is very popular with teenagers.”
Other emails show that Targeted Victory actively searched for stories about potentially dangerous trends on TikTok. Also, agency employees communicated among themselves about desirable headlines about TikTok like “How TikTok Is The Most Dangerous Social Media Platform For Kids.” When a negative topic about TikTok made the news, Targeted Victory tried to inflate it further on social media and lobbied local administrators to take action against TikTok.
Targeted Victory declined to respond substantively to questions to The Washington Post. The agency only confirms that it has represented Facebook and is “proud of the work done.” Meta spokesperson Andy Stone defended the campaign in a statement to the newspaper: “We believe all platforms, including TikTok, should be closely monitored.” TikTok responds via a spokesperson that the company is “concerned” about the coverage of TikTok.