Meta's secret mud-slinging campaign

Inside a Facebook-funded consulting firm's scramble to frame TikTok as a threat to American teens.

Meta's secret mud-slinging campaign
An influencer on the red carpet at the Academy Awards in 2022. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Full story: Facebook paid Republican strategy firm to malign TikTok

In one email, a Targeted Victory director asked for ideas on local political reporters who could serve as a “back channel” for anti-TikTok messages, saying the firm “would definitely want it to be hands off.”

In other emails, Targeted Victory urged partners to push stories to local media tying TikTok to dangerous teen trends in an effort to show the app’s purported harms. “Any local examples of bad TikTok trends/stories in your markets?” a Targeted Victory staffer asked.

“Dream would be to get stories with headlines like ‘From dances to danger: how TikTok has become the most harmful social media space for kids,’ ” the staffer wrote.

Thanks for reading. Let's talk: [email protected].