TikTok lawyer says journalists are part of ‘anti-TikTok’ narrative

A confidential TikTok memo by a top company lawyer claims that journalists are involved in pushing fake narratives about TikTok.

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Forbes obtained a confidential memo in which a top TikTok lawyer urges the company to fight the ‘relentless onslaught of false and misleading narratives’ about TikTok pushed in part by news organisations and journalists.

The memo outlines how the ‘anti-TikTok disinformation’ and ‘anti-TikTok narratives’ perpetuate a negative media cycle harming the corporate brand and reputation. The lawyer calls for an all-hands-on-deck approach by forming a special team to fight these narratives. The team would drive external statements, policy positions, and media/regulatory responses to promote trust and credibility for the TikTok brand, create a ‘”fact-checking” website’ that ‘disproves frequent false statements and narratives’, and shares information about TikTok’s data collection practices.

After Forbes published the story, TikTok spokesperson Alex Haurek asked Forbes to update the company’s comment to reflect that all companies regularly evaluate threats to the business. TikTok did not respond when asked to give an example of media coverage allegedly leading an ‘anti-TikTok campaign’.