TikTok has become a news source for millions, whether or not that information is accurate. This is probably why the White House thought it was essential to inform major TikTok influencers to help them curate a message to their audiences.
Thirty of the biggest TikTok stars were invited to a Zoom call regarding the Ukraine war. National Security Council members and White House press secretary Jen Psaki led the meeting. They discussed the United States’ strategic goals and answered questions the stars had about aiding Ukrainians, working with Nato, and nuclear war.
Since the crisis began, TikTok videos have exposed actual footage of what is happening to the masses. Videos of Ukrainians gathering in bomb shelters and fleeing homes have surfaced. Russian propaganda and misinformation have also come to the forefront.
The Biden administration has partnered with Gen Z For Change, a nonprofit group, to work with content creators. The executive director of Gen Z For Change, Victoria Hammett, organized the initiative and sent invitations to influencers.
Since the meeting, Ellie Zeiler, an 18-year-old TikTok phenomenon with over 10 million followers, posted a video with the caption, “Why is gas so expensive?” It seems that was part of the agenda pushed to the influencers.
It’s no surprise the star has already received backlash from the post. Her comment section is filled with controversy, one commenter saying “People getting their political information from here is exactly why our world is so messed up right now,” while another wrote, “Saying exactly what government tells you to say is called propaganda.”