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The White House recruits TikTokers

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TikTok journalists // Illustration by Kate Walker

The White House recruits TikTokers

 

Future. The White House is looking to steer the online narrative of the invasion of Ukraine, enlisting 30 top TikTok influencers to help spread factual news and call out disinformation to their followers. While it may be a (big) stretch to equate TikTok creators with bonafide journalists, the ability to reach a whole generation at scale may make them a vital part of any PR campaign.

Viral facts
The U.S. government is fighting disinformation about the invasion of Ukraine with an army of TikTok influencers.

  • The White House held a briefing with 30 TikTok creators to give them up-to-date, factual news about Ukraine so they could pass that info on to their combined millions of followers.
  • It also gave the creators the tools and “confidence” to debunk misinformation on the platform.

The creators were chosen by advocacy group Gen Z For Change, and the briefing was conducted by Matt Miller, a special adviser for communications at the White House National Security Council, and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

Be the PR you want to see
TikTok has become an information hub for the ongoing invasion in Ukraine, with many calling it the “the first TikTok war” as citizens on the ground provide raw, live coverage of what’s really happening. On Thursday, TikTok finally recognized its influence and said it would start labeling videos that came from state media.

As strange as it seems, it makes sense that the White House would want to empower popular TikTok personalities to “set the tone” of how information is spread on the platform. Creator Kahlil Greene, who attended the briefing, said, “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.”

And this isn’t the first time The White House has recruited popular Gen Z personalities for a PR campaign. Last year, it tapped Olivia Rodrigo for a COVID PSA.

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