President Biden has turned to TikTok influencers to help him counter Russian propaganda about its invasion of the Ukraine.
National Security Council staffers and White House press secretary Jen Psaki gathered 30 popular TikTok stars together for the briefing via Zoom on Thursday, March 10th.
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Biden officials emphasized the influence that these creators have in online discussions surrounding the crisis, according to the Washington Post.
During the briefing, White House director of digital strategy Rob Flaherty noted that the Biden administration recognized that TikTok “is a critically important avenue” for much of the American public…especially Gen Z…to find out about news. “So we wanted to make sure you had the latest information from an authoritative source” he said
Yahoo news reports: The briefing’s attendees were mostly Gen Z TikTokers — many with upwards of half a million followers — whose content leans towards politics, history, and culture. “People in my generation get all our information from TikTok,” Khalil Greene, who attended the briefing, told The Washington Post. “It’s the first place we’re searching up new topics and learning about things.”
Others attendees included Jules Terpak, who makes TikTok essays about culture; Jules Suzdaltsev, who operates the TikTok account Good Morning, Bad News; and Ellie Zeiler, a TikTok star with over 10 million followers. Some, including Greene, posted recaps of their experience.
Not all reviews were positive. “There wasn’t a lot of acknowledgement of what America should stop doing in terms of their connections to occupations, invasions, and general bad-faith actions across the world,” Greene said. Similarly, Suzdaltsev told The Washington Post that “the energy of the call felt like a press briefing for kindergartners.”