The Zuckbook Enlists Third Parties to Disseminate Interesting Information: Hey, Why Not?

May 11, 2022

The company formerly known as Facebook is not happy that its new Meta branding is not doing well. According to Protocol, formerly Facebook paid a Republican consulting firm to say mean things about TikTok: “Meta Paid A GOP Consulting Film To Drag TikTok Through The Mud.” Facebook is now the social media platform for grandparents and senior citizens. It has not been a cool thing in years, The cool social media platform is TikTok and it keeps pulling in younger crowds.

Meta decided to take a conservative route by hiring a Republican consulting firm to make the short video platform look bad. The selected firm is Targeted Victory and it was founded by the digital director of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Meta wants Targeted Victory to run a campaign of op-eds and letters to the editor stating that TikTok is dangerous for kids. Targeted Victory employees promoted stories to regional news outlets about harmful TikTok trends that originated on Facebook.

“The emails show how Meta wants the public to see TikTok even as Meta itself tries to re-create some of the magic that led TikTok to become the top app for young people. Mark Zuckerberg has cited TikTok as a hurdle to getting young people back on his platforms. Both Facebook and Instagram have followed TikTok’s lead by pouring money into their own short-form video clones. ‘We believe all platforms, including TikTok, should face a level of scrutiny consistent with their growing success,’ Meta spokesperson Andy Stone told the Post in defense of the campaign.”

These op-eds and letters to the editor criticized TikTok. They were from concerned parents and even a Democratic Party chair. Targeted Victory also highlighted Meta in a good light, such as how the platform assists Black-owned businesses.

Meta refers to when something breaks the fourth wall or is so “out there” that it cannot be real. It is used in place of “stranger than fiction” and “you can’t make this stuff up.” The company formerly known as Facebook is making everything Meta buy making the world a self-referential self-congratulatory echo chamber.

Whitney Grace, May 11, 2022

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