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Chinese-owned TikTok reportedly paid to transport popular influencers on its platform to appear in Washington as the company’s CEO appeared before Congress.
wired Reports state that social media giant TikTok launched a massive campaign in DC that included paying TikTok influencers to meet with their home state’s lawmakers, staffers and journalists, as TikTok CEO Show Zee Chew agreed to testify before the US House of Representatives.
The troubled Chinese tech giant paid for dozens of influencers, who collectively have nearly 60 million followers, to travel to Washington, including covering their meals, hotel bills and travel costs. As he interacted with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, influencers were urged to share their journey with their followers.
According to Jamal Brown, a spokesman for TikTok, the company wanted to draw attention to the potential effects of the US ban on Americans who allegedly depend on it for their livelihood. “More than 150 million Americans, including 5 million American businesses, rely on TikTok to innovate, find community and support their livelihoods,” Brown said. He emphasized that TikTok provided financial support to the influencers and their guests to ensure that they could attend the event without any hindrance.
While some influencers claimed to have paid for their airfare, most used TikTok’s free hotel offer. On the app, influencer Alexandra Doten goes by the handle @astro_alexandra. She shared her experience: “I even found the hotel! I don’t know They shuttle me there.
The company’s initiative aims to allow these influencers to meet with legislators and discuss the possible repercussions of the social media platform ban. George Alvarez, a mental health advocate in New Jersey, said, “They took us here, but we’re not being paid. TikTok paid for the transportation—that’s also public information.”
However, MPs’ reactions to the campaign have been conflicting. While some lawmakers have supported TikTok, arguing that it poses no more threat to the country than other social media sites, others – including prominent conservatives – have banned the company due to privacy and national security concerns. called upon to do.
Over the past two years, TikTok has spent more than $10 million on lobbying in addition to funding influencers, and it recently hired Hotline Agency, a creative communications agency with offices in Los Angeles, to help influence Washington. placed on Ahead of the hearing, the company also unveiled new safety features, such as a 60-minute daily app usage limit for children.
Even though TikTok is trying to win over supporters, it’s still unclear whether the company’s goodwill tour will convince many opponents in Congress, who believe the app is a threat to US national security, particularly a After hearing what the audience called an “outrageous disaster”. Breitbart News reported yesterday’s hearing in detail.
Read more at wired Here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. follow him on twitter @LucasNolan