Since Facebook couldn't handle TikTok, it decided to spread lies in the media: Zuckerberg hired a lobby against his rival

A few hours ago, a new ploy by Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg's platform, was revealed to maintain its leadership in the social network market: it hired a firm dedicated to the 'Lobby' (word used to talk about pressure groups), Republican-leaning, to dedicate himself to spreading false information among local and regional media in the United States about the dangers of using TikTok.
The Washington Post has leaked various emails where the company effectively talks to the Targeted Victory pressure group to hire their services. These services consisted of Targeted Victory being in charge of getting the media to publish opinion pieces and letters to the editor about the negative effects of using the TikTok platform.
Not only that, but also involving well-known people who spoke openly about this "problem", such as prestigious reporters and politicians. According to one of the emails, one of the directors of the campaign mentioned that the dream would be to get headlines like "From dances to danger", within this smear campaign.


Getting the message across: TikTok is the threat

Targeted Victory needs to "get the message across that while Meta is the current punching bag (he's referring to all the controversies he's publicly staged that have made people distrust Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp), TikTok is the real threat." especially since it's a foreign-owned app (it's China) and it's number one in sharing data used by young teens," a company director wrote in an email last February.
In other emails, Targeted Victory urged its partners to submit stories to local media outlets linking TikTok to dangerous trends for teens. One of the ideas was to look for local stories where TikTok had been harmful to a teenager. "The dream would be to get stories with headlines like 'TikTok has become the most harmful social media space for children,'" reads one of the emails.
One type of story that was widely shared thanks to Targeted Victory's influence was that of teenagers vandalizing their schools to follow a TikTok trend called "devious licking." Many of these stories were shared in the media of various states. However, according to research by Anna Foley on Gimlet Podcasts, rumors of this "devious licking" challenge initially spread on Facebook and not TikTok.
According to The Washington Post, in October, Targeted Victory set about spreading rumors of the "slap-a-teacher TikTok challenge" on the local news. Actually, there was no such challenge on TikTok. Again, the rumor started on Facebook and, on this, Insider already spoke last October.
At the same time, the agency was working to get "proactive coverage" of Facebook in local media with letters and op-eds praising Facebook's role in, for example, supporting black-owned businesses. Those letters didn't mention that they were funded by Meta, obviously.
Targeted Victory is known to have hired dozens of PR firms across the United States to help sway public opinion against TikTok. In addition to putting up local news, the company has helped publish op-eds against TikTok across the country, especially in key congressional outlets.

Stiff competition between TikTok and Meta

It should be said that TikTok has indeed received fines for collecting information from children under 13 years of age. Meta wanted to do the same with Instagram Kids and tried to convince the United States authorities of the advantages of children using the social network, but had to stop its development after last year, full of controversies about the (bad ) use of our personal data.
You have to remember that for Meta, TikTok is a very strong rival and they have been worried about this for a long time. In an internal report leaked last year by former employee Frances Haugen, Facebook researchers said teens were spending "2 to 3 times more time" on TikTok than Instagram, and that Facebook's popularity among teens had plummeted. in a tailspin

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