An investigation of Washington Post suggests that Facebook may have used highly unethical techniques to compete with TikTok.
The newspaper has published a series of recent emails between Meta and Targeted Victory, a Republican-leaning company. Mark Zuckerberg’s company contracted the services of this lobby to publish opinion pieces and letters to the editor of local and regional media in the United States, about the alleged harmful effects of the use of TikTok for minors.
Some of the emails directed at TikTok were sent in February, shortly after Meta announced that Facebook had lost users for the first time in its 18-year history.
In one of the emails, a Meta representative asked Targeted Victory to convey the message that while their platform was being used as punch ball To talk about the negative effect of social networks, TikTok was the real threat.
The company took care to emphasize that its rival is foreign-owned, specifically Chinese, and that it is number 1 in the data exchange used by young teenagers.
In other emails, Targeted Victory urged its partners to submit stories to local media linking TikTok to dangerous trends for younger people in an effort to show the app’s alleged harms.
They also requested to involve well-known people, such as reporters or politicians, so that they could speak openly about the problem with TikTok. His intention was to put out articles with headlines like ‘From dances to danger: how TikTok has become the most harmful social media space for children’.
According to The Washington Post, dozens of public relations firms across the United States have been hired by Targeted Victory to sway public opinion against Bytedance’s social network.
At the moment Meta has not commented on the Post’s report.