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Facebook employs shady GOP tactics to tear down TikTok

The social media wars are heating up.

mark zuckerberg holding the tiktok logo
Image: KnowTechie

UPDATE 3/30/2022 1:30 PM EST: Targeted Media reached out and stated, “Targeted Victory’s corporate practice 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.”

They also linked to CEO Zac Moffatt’s tweet, which you can find here.

As the last decade has unfolded across social media, it’s becoming quite clear that of all the social media networks, Facebook is the villain.

It wasn’t enough that Facebook is the misinformation hub of the universe. Or that Facebook is an entity of pure evil soaking us for our data — now it’s directly going after other social networks.

Through its parent company Meta, Facebook has hired a Republican consulting firm called Targeted Victory to drag TikTok through a nationwide lobbying campaign. The goal is to brand TikTok as a danger to not only kids, but society itself.

This is on-brand with classic GOP deflection and projection, Facebook playing the whataboutism game while itself being a bastion of pure fuckery.

READ MORE: TikTok is under investigation over child sexual abuse material

This isn’t a defense of TikTok, where viral actions like the “devious licks” challenge encouraged kids around the nation to damage school property made headlines. There is plenty of nonsense on that app to levy a fair amount of criticism. But that can be said for any social media app.

We, as a society, still have not learned how to compartmentalize social applications. Instagram still fucks with kids’ heads, Twitter makes us all insane, YouTube sends us down dangerous rabbit holes, Reddit’s meme population desensitizes us to the world.

The consulting firm has worked for years to make TikTok look bad

tiktok logo with blurred smartphone in the background
Image: KnowTechie

READ MORE: Leaked TikTok meetings show China accesses US user data

Rather, this is a shady move by Facebook. Targeted Victory has worked for years to undermine TikTok according to the Washington Post. The outlet lays out a bunch of examples of it intentionally working to disparage TikTok in the media as if TikTok was a political rival.

While it told the Washington Post it was proud of its work to date; due to the still exploding popularity of TikTok, one could argue it’s done a shit job of dragging the platform.

It likely spent a ton of Meta’s cash getting stories placed that highlighted so-called dangerous trends among TikTok’s younger user base. It even made up some TikTok challenges, like the “Slap a Teacher” challenge, that upon investigation originated on Facebook. Classic projection.

While it pushed local lawmakers to attack TikTok, it was also working to pump up Facebook’s reputation in the media. Meta, which spends millions in federal lobbying, has still shown up in front of Congress more over the past few years than teachers have been slapped on TikTok.

Whatever this consulting firm is trying to accomplish hasn’t been accomplished.

TikTok’s growth has been exponential, landing it in third place worldwide. Time spent on the app outpaces Facebook, and it shows no signs of slowing down. It just introduced longer video capability, now competing with YouTube in that category. Meta is not going to stop this train.

This whole thing just reeks of pathetic desperation

Meta’s Facebook application is garbage, we all know it (yet continue to use it). Whatever this consulting firm thinks it has accomplished over the past few years, it clearly hasn’t.

TikTok continues to be the popular social app among the next generation of users. Facebook continues to be the home of your grandma and shitty Fox News memes. It’s a haven for the right-wing grandpas and garage sale royalty.

The Washington Post story is revealing for sure, showing the world that Meta is as shady as it seems. But it also reveals failure. Failure by Facebook to play with the other kids in the sandbox. Failure by this shady consulting firm to actually take down a competitor. And failure by Zuckerberg to hide his contempt for anything that isn’t his data-stealing money machine.

Everything that has transpired at the hands of this consulting firm under the direction of Meta has been barely an inconvenience for TikTok. If that was the goal, goal achieved.

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Back at it. Writing tech news/opinion so Josiah doesn't slap me (or so he will, depends on the day). Follow on Twitter @cebsilver for them jokes. Chaotic neutral.

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