Modern Marketing Brand Strategy

Meta accused of smear campaign against TikTok

By John Glenday | Reporter

Meta

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Facebook article

March 31, 2022 | 3 min read

Facebook owner Meta has been accused of orchestrating a smear campaign against TikTok amid claims that political strategists were hired to hinder it.

Leaked emails obtained by The Washington Post and repeated in The Times suggest that Meta Platforms recruited external consultants to find ways to sully the name of its target by concocting headlines such as ‘From dances to danger.’

Among those allegedly paid to dig up dirt on TikTok is Virginia-based Targeted Victory, which is said to have orchestrated efforts to present the Chinese-owned video sharing app as a threat. The strategy is laid bare in communications stressing the need to divert criticism away from Meta by focusing attention on the foreign owners of TikTok.

meta

Leaked emails suggest that Meta Platforms recruited external consultants to find ways to attack TikTok’s reputation

Targeted Victory conceded that Meta had become a “punching bag” after enduring a barrage of criticism on everything from exposing children to harm to undermining the foundations of democracy.

Responding to the accusations, a TikTok spokeswoman said: “We are deeply concerned that the stoking of local media reports on alleged trends that have not been found on the platform could cause real-world harm.”

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Declining to dismiss the claims, a Meta spokesperson merely expressed a generalized sentiment that all social media platforms “... should face a level of scrutiny consistent with their growing success.”

Mark Zuckerberg recently orchestrated a shift from Facebook to Meta, which is thought to be partly a distancing strategy to evade a mountain of bad press, such as the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, which had tarnished the image of the social media leader.

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