White House Enlists TikTok Influencers To Combat Russian Disinformation

Headline Roundup March 13th, 2022

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.

From the Center

During the height of the virus outbreak, President Joe Biden’s administration authorized thousand dollar cash payments to create a TikTok “Influencer Army '' as part of the campaign to get people vaccinated. High school student Ellie Zeiler, a 17-year-old TikToker with over ten million followers, was approached by the White House with an interesting offer. Zeiler was requested to partake in a campaign to entice her followers and young people to get vaccinated.

About 50 Twitch streamers, YouTubers and TikTokers with large followings, including the popular 18-year-old star, Olivia Rodrigo,...

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From the Left

On Thursday afternoon, 30 top TikTok stars gathered on a Zoom call to receive key information about the war unfolding in Ukraine. National Security Council staffers and White House press secretary Jen Psaki briefed the influencers about the United States’ strategic goals in the region and answered questions on distributing aid to Ukrainians, working with NATO and how the United States would react to a Russian use of nuclear weapons.

As the crisis in Ukraine has escalated, millions have turned to TikTok for information on what is happening there in real time....

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From the Right

TikTok isn’t just for dances anymore.

The White House briefed 30 high-profile creators on the popular app Thursday about key details of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Washington Post reported.

According to the outlet, the briefing took place over Zoom and was led by White House press secretary Jen Psaki and National Security Council special communications adviser Matt Miller.

The topics reportedly broached included America’s strategic goals in Eastern Europe, how the US would respond to nuclear escalation by Russia, and how millions of dollars in aid were being distributed to...

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