While at the recent Turning Point USA event, I met several people who came up to the RedState booth to ask about RedState, and after some pleasant conversation they’d naturally move on to explore the rest of the summit. However, a few would return not long after and say that despite searching for the site on social media, they couldn’t find us.
I thought it odd, but they soon made it apparent why.
RedState can be found on many different social media platforms. We’re on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, and have a sizeable and growing following on each. The thing is, the TPUSA event was an event centered around the youth, and you’ll notice a lack of GenZ on these platforms. They’re currently hanging out on Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.
I can’t stress my emphasis on TikTok here enough. According to metrics, it’s set to be the most trafficked social media platform in 2022, blowing away its competition and leaving it all in the dust. In fact, it just overcame YouTube as the number one place to watch short videos.
The immediate reaction from the right is to fully reject TikTok due to its association with China, and that’s not unwarranted. The issue is that while many on the right refuse to even engage with it, everyone else is, including right-leaning people. In fact, right-leaning people do very well there.
The bottom line is that these social media platforms, especially TikTok, are where the battleground for the future is. Conservatives would be wise to show up there and begin creating their own content. They should know, however, that as we’re having this conversation about acting on TikTok, the left has already moved into their action phase and has begun implementing attempts to win people to their side.
And no, I don’t mean the bizarre teachers and LGBT activists you see highlighted by Libs of TikTok.
According to Vice, a PR firm is already paying influencers to put out messages that benefit the Democrat Party and denigrate Republicans:
Picture, if you will, a panoply of TikToks, scrolling in a hypnotic stream before you. A disgusted Taylor Swift influencer in the fall of 2021, blaming then-Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin’s former company for buying Swift’s master tapes. A Tesla owner enthusing about how the bipartisan infrastructure deal could create more charging stations for electric vehicles. A single dad washing baby bottles in his kitchen and singing the praises of the expanded child tax credit championed by the Democrats and the Biden White House. A woman leaping off her couch in celebration of the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson. An influencer asking her followers to sign a petition for Biden to protect Spirit Mountain, a sacred Native cultural site in southern Nevada.
These effectively equate to political ads being paid for by an “influencer marketing partner” called Vocal Media. Its strategy is simple but effective. Just take already established influencers and pay them to work in political content that looks like regular content. Officially, TikTok doesn’t allow political ads on the platform, but users are finding ways to bend the rules without breaking them, likely with the help of PR firms, and it’s not hard to do.
Arguing legalities and policy is likely going to be more of a distraction at this point. The immediate issue is that, once again, the left has occupied one of the busiest parts of the battlefield and we’re not.
TikTok is now a big part of the culture war and it’s where the future is being decided due to its influence on young voters. We can continue to turn our nose up at it and refuse to engage, leaving the left to do as they please, or we can show up and cut them off at the pass. Thanks to the internet, we finally have a chance to begin undoing the damage the left has done after it had sole control over the big stage for decades. Blowing the opportunity to spread the message in this new frontier will cost the right, and America, down the line.