White House briefs ‘TikTok stars’ on Ukraine
30 “top TikTok stars” met on a Zoom call with the White House on Thursday to hear the messaging that the White House wants them to hear about what’s going on in Ukraine.
By Libby Emmons
It turns out that the White House is briefing TikTok stars about the war in Ukraine, the Washington Post’s new childhood expert Taylor Lorenz reports. “With millions getting their information about the war from the platform, the administration wants to get its message to top content creators.”
This was done entirely unironically, and a recording of the call finds White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stoked to be there, and grateful to the TikTok stars for taking the time. Psaki thanked the TikTok influencers for coming to the briefing, and said that when she heard this was happening, she “basically crashed and invited” herself.https://rumble.com/embed/vui1ib/?pub=2n05b
30 “top TikTok stars” met on a Zoom call with the White House on Thursday to hear the messaging that the White House wants them to hear about what’s going on in Ukraine, to make sure the influencers had information from “an authoritative source,” said White House director of digital strategy Rob Flaherty.
“Thank you all for everything you’re doing,” Psaki told the influencers, “I mean, use of your platforms to educate, to inform, to debunk, to demystify, during what is a very tumultuous, heartbreaking time in the world is remarkable, and we recognize and value all of your platforms.”
Psaki led the briefing along with special advisor for communications Matt Miller, just as the Biden administration has begun a partnership with Gen Z For Change, which has a mission to “leverage the power of social media to educate our generation, encourage and mobilize civic participation, shift the political debate, and enact change.”
It was Gen Z For Change that gathered questions from TikTok influencers for the White House to answer, and the White House said that the briefing was essentially a “background briefing,” the type that would be normally given to reporters.
One influencer asked “What efforts or strategies are currently in place to either reduce or prevent the misinformation that we receive in the United States by outside sources, essentially, regarding the conflict between Ukraine and Russia?”
“So this is such an important question,” Psaki said, pandering to the TikTok kids. “One, we’re talking to all of you, and I think that this, part of that as we started off this conversation conveying is we recognize how important your platforms are and how important it is to provide as much accurate information as possible to people who are using their voices and their platforms to project accurate information. Because the best antidote to disinformation is the truth, right? And one of the big steps we’ve taken, and made the decision to take, is to declassify information over the course of the last several months. That is a hugely significant step.”
One of those in attendance was Khalil Greene, who has nearly 555,000 followers on the platform. “People in my generation get all our information from TikTok,” he told Lorenz. “It’s the first place we’re searching up new topics and learning about things.”
Psaki gave insight as to how the “government is making decisions.” She said, telling the influencers that the “national security team has been rallying the world.”
The White House told the influencers that the Russians “are bombing hospitals, and maternity wards,” and that “Russia can longer achieve their long term objectives here.”
The briefing seems to have had the intended impact, as many of the influencers on the call began posting videos about having been invited to the briefing.