White House briefs TikTok creators on Ukraine
(The hill) – The White House informed about 30 creators covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, according to several media.
The briefing was led by White House National Security Council communications special adviser Matt Miller and press secretary Jen Psaki. The news of the briefing was first reported by the Washington Post.
The news comes as Gen Z users around the world turn to TikTok to get updates from people on the ground in Ukraine amid the war with Russia. The app has played a key role in bringing current news and events to their users.
TikTok creators were briefed on “strategic goals in the region” while National Security Council and Psaki staffers “answered questions about distributing aid to Ukrainians, working with the ‘NATO and the US reaction to a Russian use of nuclear weapons’.
A manager explained his reasoning for the briefing to CNN and highlighted the “millions of views” the creators garnered while explaining the events in Ukraine.
According to a recording of the meeting obtained by the Post, White House Chief Digital Officer Rob Flaherty said the Biden administration recognizes “this is a critically important avenue in how the American public learns about the latest stuff,” and they wanted to make sure influencers had the “latest information from an authoritative source.”
Ukrainian American TikTok creator Aaron Parnas, who has 1.2 million followers on ICT Tac, tweeted friday that “I still can’t believe how blessed I am to have had the opportunity to attend a White House briefing yesterday to be armed with accurate information on how America is helping the ‘Ukraine and our European allies’.
Parnas, the son of Rudy Giulaniformer associate of Lev Parnas, said CNN that the White House allowed influencers to ask questions of administration officials “about what matters to people who view our platforms.”
The White House briefing also comes as TikTok influencers in Russia are would have been paid to share videos that promote the Putin government’s narrative surrounding the invasion.
The White House did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.
This isn’t the first time the White House has called on the creators of TikTok to fight misinformation.
Last year, the country’s leading infectious disease expert Antoine Fauci, joins several TikTok influencers in a series of conversations with the goal of increasing youth immunization rates across the country.