White House Briefs TikTok Influencers On Ukraine Crisis To Combat Disinformation
The White House on Thursday briefed around 30 social media creators covering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The briefing was led by White House National Security Council special adviser for communications Matt Miller and press secretary Jen Psaki.
The briefing included content creators who have been covering Ukraine on their social media channels, including TikTok, YouTube and Twitter. Briefers gave the content creators an overview of the latest information about Ukraine, projected how the U.S. sees the conflict moving forward, and took questions.
The White House said digital creators had produced explanatory content about Ukraine, generating millions of views and providing information about the crisis to younger generations in particular. As the Russian government has begun paying TikTok creators to produce pro-Kremlin propaganda content, the official said that arming content creators with factual information and answers can be a critical tool.
Ukrainian American TikTok creator Aaron Parnas, who has 1.2 million followers on TikTok, tweeted on Friday, “I still cannot believe how blessed I am to have had the opportunity to attend a White House briefing yesterday to be armed with accurate information about how America is helping Ukraine and our European allies.”
I still cannot believe how blessed I am to have had the opportunity to attend a White House briefing yesterday to be armed with accurate information about how America is helping Ukraine and our European allies. Shoutout to all of you that helped get me here. 💙
— Aaron Parnas (@AaronParnas) March 11, 2022
Parnas, the son of Rudy Giuliani’s former associate Lev Parnas, told CNN that the White House allowed influencers to ask the administration officials questions “about what people viewing our platforms cared about.”
The White House briefing also comes as TikTok influencers in Russia are reportedly being paid to share videos that promote the Putin government’s narrative surrounding the invasion.