Facebook Pays to Plant Bad TikTok Press [Content Made Simple]
Issue #263: Crazy social media facts, the internet killed culture, and more.
TOP OF THE WEEK:
Facebook paid GOP firm to malign TikTok
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.
Meta spokesperson Andy Stone defended the campaign by saying, “We believe all platforms, including TikTok, should face a level of scrutiny consistent with their growing success.”
A TikTok spokesperson said the company is “deeply concerned” about “the stoking of local media reports on alleged trends that have not been found on the platform.”
There is no question that TikTok can have and has had some seriously negative effects on teens and children in general. I doubt anyone would dispute that. But it isn’t great when the world’s biggest social media company, Facebook/Meta, is literally paying to plant press about its biggest competitor. Facebook leadership, namely Mark Zuckerberg, has said TikTok is the biggest threat Facebook has faced yet.
It’s sort of shocking to see a company as big and prevalent as Facebook do this. But then, is it really shocking?
HITTING THE LINKS
Link #1: The Internet Killed Mainstream Culture
Such an interesting newsletter. I joked on Twitter the other day that since about 2015 the Oscars has been more relevant because of its memes than its actual awards. This explains that sort of idea.
For the past hundred years, movies, TV, and music have formed our cultural lingua franca. Awards shows were their pinnacle—a reliable water cooler topic for Monday morning at the office. But that’s been rapidly changing.
The main reason: mainstream culture is dying.
Internet culture is now culture writ large, and internet culture is definitionally non-mainstream. Internet culture is messy and chaotic and fragmented. Internet culture movies at a torrid clip, and thumbs its nose at content catered to the cultural common denominator.
Link #2: 30 Crazy Social Media Facts
Man, some of these are pretty remarkable.
1. We like to share the love. The average internet user has 8.6 social media accounts.
2. The number of social media users skyrocketed with 72% of adults using at least one social network.
3. Young adults were early adopters of social media platforms. However, older adult usage continues to increase in recent years with more 50-64-year-olds using Facebook than those 18-29.
Link #3: Two Kinds of Contemporary Technology
Great piece from Samuel James. It sort of reminded me of the end of what I wrote last week about how we actually can light up a room with our phones now.
You are always online…and thus, always reachable, always distractable, always stressable. Remote workers in particular have to deal with the Web’s intense blurring of the lines between work and rest. What does it mean to be “off” when the one thing that creates your office presence, the Internet, is the one thing you cannot be in your house without? It’s no surprise that people old enough to remember what life was like before an ambient Web start to suspect that maybe, just maybe, they were happier, more productive, and more at peace when their technologies only did one thing, and only when asked to do it.
THE FUNNY PART
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