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Everyone knows that politics can be a bit dirty, but what happens when you use political strategy against companies instead of candidates? Meta gave it a shot by hiring a well-known GOP consulting firm called Targeted Victory to launch a smear campaign against TikTok.
Internal emails leaked to The Washington Post reportedly show that the firm was using the tools that you would normally find in a political race to badmouth TikTok across the US. The firm contracted with dozens of PR groups and used everything from local newspapers to TV shows to make TikTok look bad as the competition between the US and Chinese tech giants heats up.
The firm’s goal was to “get the message out that while Meta is the current punching bag, TikTok is the real threat especially as a foreign owned app that is #1 in sharing data that young teens are using,” a director for the firm wrote in a February email.
“We believe all platforms, including TikTok, should face a level of scrutiny consistent with their growing success,” said Andy Stone, a representative to Meta.