White House Asks Help of Tik-Tokers

What?!!! I posted my last post around 1:30 P.M. then read this at 4:40 P.M.

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© Raymond Boyd/Getty ImagesThe White House south facade, in Washington, D.C. Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

  • The White House held a Zoom meeting with 30 popular TikTokers about the invasion of Ukraine.
  • Jules Suzdaltsev, who runs the account Good Morning, Bad News, told Insider about the call.
  • He said the briefing was a positive step in terms of the White House recognizing TikTok’s potential.

The White House held a Zoom briefing about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with 30 popular TikTokers on Thursday. The call, first reported by The Washington Post, was yet another instance of the White House turning to the app’s creators to promote its message after recruiting TikTokers for its vaccination effort last year. 

Jules Suzdaltsev, a Ukrainian-born creator who runs the news account Good Morning, Bad News, was on the call and praised the briefing as a positive step in recognizing the app’s influence and creator’s ability to connect with a broad audience. 

“It gets such a wide reach, especially among young people who are interested in news,” Suzdaltsev said.

The “news” side of TikTok is a massively popular subculture. The hashtag “#NewsTok” has 123 million views, while “#News” has over 37 billion. Many creators produce longform videos often called “video essays” sharing news and historical information.

The call centered around the United States’ involvement in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and was hosted by White House press secretary Jen Psaki and special adviser for communications at the White House National Security Council Matt Miller, according to The Washington Post. An upload of the call was shared by reporter Taylor Lorenz.

1 of 11 Photos in Gallery©Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

‘Too big to sanction’? 10 key facts about Russia’s oil and commodity exports

  • Sanctions on Russia are intensifying, sending the price of its key commodity exports through the roof.
  • Russia is the world’s third-biggest oil producer and the top exporter of nickel, as well as a major coal producer.
  • The US and its European allies are considering a ban on its vast oil and gas sector.

Russia is a big player in the world’s commodity markets. It is one of the world’s largest exporters of some of the most vital raw materials, from wheat and grains, to oil, natural gas and coal, to gold and other precious metals.

The country’s invasion of Ukraine led to a barrage of unprecedented sanctions aimed at isolating Moscow and choking off its access to international financial markets. 

While sanctions have not directly targeted Russia’s energy exports yet, the US said on Sunday it and its European allies are considering a ban on its imports of its oil. Russia is the world’s third-largest producer of oil and one of the biggest producers of gas. A ban would send its customers scrambling for any kind of alternative at any price.

Just the potential for some kind of ban saw Brent crude futures surge to over $130 a barrel Monday, their highest since mid-2008.

But it’s not that simple. Russia isn’t just dominant in the oil trade. It’s one of the biggest producers of wheat and coal. And some experts believe Western leaders will stop short of outright embargoes, given their economies could be too badly damaged by the ensuing price rises as a result.

“Russia is too big to sanction,” Fereidun Fesharaki, chairman at energy consultancy company FGE, told Bloomberg last week.

“The global market cannot survive without Russian oil, and certainly Europe cannot survive without Russian gas.” 

Here are 10 key facts about Russia’s energy and commodity exports:

Read the original article on Insider

Suzdaltsev was invited to the call the day before by Gen Z for Change, he said, a nonprofit organization that specializes in social media and justice advocacy. The organization invited all the TikTokers and prepped questions for the administration officials, The Post reported. 

Related video: TikTok war: How Russia’s invasion of Ukraine played to social media’s youngest audience (Reuters)

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TikTok war: How Russia’s invasion of Ukraine played to social media’s youngest audience

Suzdaltsev, whose TikTok has over 1.1 million followers, said seeing the White House invite him and other large news creators to a press briefing was “genuinely reassuring.” Other creators invited to the meeting include Kahlil Greene, a self-described “Gen Z Historian” with over 500,000 followers, and Marcus DiPaola, a news TikToker with over 3.5 million followers.

Despite offering an enormous platform for news and the ability to reach millions of viewers, creators including Suzdaltsev have said that legacy media organizations have dismissed TikTok as a reputable news source and ignored its potential. 

“TikTok is a really good platform for news, which is to say that there are a lot of really talented news creators on the app,” Suzdaltsev said.

The nature of the White House call was not “super serious,” Suzdaltsev said, and involved talking points that the Biden administration has previously made such as how the US is providing humanitarian aid and doing what they can in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Vice News reported on Friday that there has been a coordinated campaign to pay Russian TikTok influencers to post pro-Kremlin talking points about the war in Ukraine.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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