Biden Admin Briefs TikTok Influencers To ‘Help Sway Public Opinion’ About Russia And War In Ukraine

Biden Adm. Brings In TikTok 'Heavyweights' To Fight 'Disinformation' On Russia-Ukraine Conflict
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When the Biden administration wants to get the word out about a serious situation, they go to the most reliable sources in order to get the most accurate information to Americans – particularly young Americans.

There’s one premier outlet you may be ignoring for all the latest, definitely-real news about the war in Ukraine: through 17-year olds on TikTok.

Yes, you read that right, TikTok. And believe it or not, the situation in Ukraine is not the first time the Biden administration has used “TikTok influencers” to get their message to Millennials and Gen Z. 

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The Old Reliable Playbook

As previously stated, the Biden administration has relied on the experts at TikTok before. During the COVID pandemic, TikTok-ers were paid big bucks to convince people to get vaccinated. 

The White House called it their TikTok “Influencer Army.” Call me old fashioned, but in my day we just called that “propaganda” or “PR.”

The Biden administration appears to now be relying on that old rule of thumb, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” for a new propaganda campaign, messaging aimed at young people about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

That’s right – if you get enough views making inane dancing videos on social media, you too could be briefed by National Security Council staff.

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How It Works

About 30 of TikTok’s leading social media content creators were invited by the White House to be “briefed” on the war in Ukraine by National Security Council and White House staff, and were given the views, i.e. talking points, of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and National Security Advisor Matt Miller.

Among the topics were nuclear war – perfect for an audience of people who weren’t even born yet when the Soviet Union collapsed.

And while the hipsters at the White House patted themselves on the back for being so hip and cool, White House digital strategy director Rob Flaherty said that the TikTok summit was a “critically important” source for updates.

He added,

“An astonishing amount of people are learning about the invasion of Ukraine through digital creators who have begun to cover it. We take that really seriously and are working to make sure those creators have the ability to have their [questions] answered.”

Yeah Rob, it’s the learning about the invasion on TikTok part that is a bit worrisome. If there’s one thing we know about this White House, it’s that this “influencer army” will be sharing honest, even-handed data and not political spin.

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Mixed Reaction

The reaction on the social media app has been a mixed bag. Content creator Kahlil Greene echoed Flaherty’s unintentionally disturbing comments saying, “People in my generation get all our information from TikTok. It’s the first place we’re searching up new topics and learning about things.”

Ukrainian content creator Jules Suzdaltsev – someone far more likely to have actually useful information, as opposed to someone born after the Millennium and couldn’t point out Ukraine on a map – described the call to the Washington Post as a “press briefing for kindergartners.” 

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was the main cheerleader for the TikTok-ers saying, “The best antidote to disinformation is the truth.”

This would be the same Jen Psaki who cheered a disclaimer against “misinformation” on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

But perhaps the most frightening of all was the spewing of “information” by content creator Marcus DiPaola who decided to show off his new TikTok foreign policy bonafides:

“If Russia uses chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the United States will take escalatory steps. We don’t know what that means, but it won’t be good for Russia. Second, Russian troops are not happy with their own invasion, and it’s really impacting Russia’s ability to make progress in this war. Third, Russia is not going to win in Ukraine. Things have gone so badly for them that it’s just not possible anymore.”

Is any bit of that actually true? Or do we just take the White House’s word for it?

On the bright side, if Russia has already lost the war and things are going so badly, we can ignore all the calls to start World War III by imposing a no-fly zone, and the government can return the $13.6 billion they just approved for Ukraine.

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