Eleven years in the past, Facebook was caught red-handed after it employed a outstanding public relations agency to strive to plant tales harshly criticizing Google’s privateness practices in main information shops.
In 2018, it employed the PR agency Definers to do opposition analysis on the corporate’s critics, together with billionaire philanthropist George Soros. The corporate’s longtime head of communications, Elliot Schrage, took the blame for approving the hiring of Definers and comparable companies and left Facebook.
On Wednesday, The Washington Put up reported that Meta, Facebook’s mum or dad firm, is utilizing comparable techniques to go after one other rival TikTok. Meta, the Put up reported, employed a Republican consulting agency referred to as Focused Victory to “orchestrate a nationwide campaign” towards TikTok.
Focused Victory, in accordance to the Put up, contracted with dozens of public relations companies throughout the US to assist “sway public opinion against TikTok” by planting native information tales and serving to place op-eds focusing on TikTok across the nation, the story says.
Meta confirmed that it has employed Focused Victory.
“We consider all platforms, together with TikTok, ought to face a stage of scrutiny per their rising success,” spokesman Andy Stone said in a statement.
Zac Moffatt, the CEO of Targeted Victory, said the company “manages bipartisan teams on behalf of our clients.”
“It is public knowledge we have worked with Meta for several years and we are proud of the work we have done,” he said in a statement.
The Post obtained internal emails from Targeted Victory that outlined a campaign to undermine TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. The agency used a mixture of “genuine concerns and unfounded anxieties” about TikTok in order to strive to flip public and political sentiment towards it.
In accordance to the report, Focused Victory was additionally working to get “proactive coverage” about Facebook into native media, together with “submitting letters and opinion pieces speaking glowingly of Facebook’s role in, for instance, supporting Black-owned businesses.”
“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,” TikTok stated in an emailed assertion.