Headline RoundupMarch 13th, 2022

White House Enlists TikTok Influencers To Combat Russian Disinformation

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The White House gathered around 30 TikTok influencers on a Zoom call Thursday afternoon to discuss key information about Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine

The meeting was moderated by White House press secretary Jen Psaki and National Security Council staffers. Influencers were briefed on how the war in Ukraine is unfolding, the U.S. and NATO's strategic goals and the process of distributing aid to Ukrainians. Rob Flaherty, the White House director of digital strategy, recognized TikTok as "a critically important avenue" for much of the American public to find out about the latest news and wanted to "make sure" social media influencers get "the latest information from an authoritative source." The call was also a strategy to combat Russian disinformation and propaganda that's being spread by the Kremlin on social media.

Left-rated outlets such as CNN (Left bias) were more likely to accentuate quotes from social media personalities that said the White House initiative was "absolutely the right choice," while also emphasizing Dr. Anthony Fauci's conversation with TikTok influencers last summer about combatting vaccine misinformation. Some right-rated outlets such as Fox News (Right bias) were more likely to label TikTok as a "Chinese social media platform" and highlighted how Psaki said Russia "hacked" the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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