President Biden Brings In TikTok Stars To Help Sway Public Opinion Over Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine – Forbes

UKRAINE – 2020/10/08: In this photo illustration, a TikTok Chinese video-sharing social networking … [+] service logo seen displayed on a smartphone with a flag of the United States in the background. (Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
During the height of the virus outbreak, President Joe Biden’s administration authorized thousand-dollar cash payments to create a TikTok “Influencer Army ” as part of the campaign to get people vaccinated. High school student Ellie Zeiler, a 17-year-old TikToker with over ten million followers, was approached by the White House with an interesting offer. Zeiler was requested to partake in a campaign to entice her followers and young people to get vaccinated.
About 50 Twitch streamers, YouTubers and TikTokers with large followings, including the popular 18-year-old star, Olivia Rodrigo, joined up. Some states and local municipalities started similar campaigns.
They are now going back to this playbook, except it’s for the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Top White House and National Security Council staffers held a briefing with around 30 top influential social media content creators.
The content creators were offered an overview of what is going on in the Ukraine and the views of the U.S. Press Secretary Jen Psaki and National Security Council adviser Matt Miller. The TikTokers were virtually briefed on the war, and White House officials answered the creators’ questions. The subjects ranged from relief efforts to the frightening possibility of a Russia nuclear attack. Psaki told the young TikTok celebrities, “The best antidote to disinformation is the truth.”
Rob Flaherty, White House digital strategy director, said about the high level meeting, TikTok is a “critically important” source for updates and reaching millions of people online. “An astonishing amount of people are learning about the invasion of Ukraine through digital creators who have begun to cover it,” Flaherty tweeted Friday. “We take that really seriously and are working to make sure those creators have the ability to have their q’s answered.”
The Washington Post reported that “Kahlil Greene, a young creator with more than 534,000 followers on TikTok, said he wasn’t surprised when an invitation arrived in his email inbox.” Greene said, “People in my generation get all our information from TikTok,” and “It’s the first place we’re searching up new topics and learning about things.”
According to CBS News, content creator Marcus DiPaola, who has 3.5 million followers on TikTok, said, “If Russia uses chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the United States will take escalatory steps. We don’t know what that means, but it won’t be good for Russia. Second, Russian troops are not happy with their own invasion, and it’s really impacting Russia’s ability to make progress in this war. Third, Russia is not going to win in Ukraine. Things have gone so badly for them that it’s just not possible anymore.”
For those who think TikTok is frivolous, you may want to get a sense of how much money they may earn. TikTokers with a large following make a significant amount of money. Some people are earning a nice living making TikTok videos. With one million followers you can potentially earn between $1,000 and $30,000 per month. If you have a large, loyal following, major brands will offer sponsorship deals with TikTok stars to have them highlight products to their audience.


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