White House briefs social media influencers on Ukraine crisis

Investigations underway into potential war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine

Top White House and National Security Council staffers held a briefing with about 30 influential social media content creators Thursday about Russia's war on Ukraine, according to a White House official.

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, according to the official. The Washington Post first reported on the meeting. 

The White House official said digital creators have 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, arming content creators with factual information and answers can be a critical tool, the official said. 

"An astonishing amount of people are learning about the invasion of Ukraine through digital creators who have begun to cover it," White House Digital Strategy Director Rob 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."

Some of the digital creators who joined the briefing took to social media to share what they learned.

"Here are the three most important bits of the White House meeting that me and a bunch of other creators just attended," posted content creator Marcus DiPaola, who has 3.5 million followers on TikTok. "First, 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." 


MAR 10 — Background briefing

♬ original sound - Marcus DiPaola

— Kathryn Watson contributed to this report. 


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