A left-wing nonprofit focused on “fighting disinformation” allegedly offered a TikTok influencer $400 to spread lies about Republican involvement in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.
Preston Moore, a lawyer with a large following on TikTok, told his followers in a video on his account that he was approached by the Good Information Foundation to make an “anti-Donald Trump propaganda post related to the January 6 investigation that is completely not true.”
After Preston said he was interested in collaborating, the foundation reportedly told him what to include in his post, including “images and scenes from the January 6th insurrection” and talking points like “the violence on January 6 was actually planned and paid for by Trump Republicans.” Specifically, the foundation told Preston he could say that the “Trump campaign paid literally millions of dollars to make January 6 happen” and that many Trump officials and Republican members of Congress were involved.
Other examples of “key messaging” Preston says the foundation highlighted for him to include was that “there is an ongoing threat of political violence or MAGA Republicans trying to overturn elections,” and that he should try to channel the anger of his followers to make them, as he summarized, “more likely to vote in the midterms.”
When Moore responded to the email by asking, “What is the basis for the claim that the Trump campaign itself paid millions of dollars to make the January 6 siege of the Capitol happen?” he says the foundation refused to answer his question.
“We know of only one person who blew the whistle, but God only knows how many people are taking them up on this,” Scott Walter, president of Capital Research Center, told The Federalist. “Just how many TikTokers are they doing this with? How many Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts are they targeting? How much money have they allocated? Because $400 is total chump change for these guys.”
The Good Information Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2021 “to tackle the growing information crisis in America that is undermining social trust, harming public health, and damaging our democracy” according to its website. It aims to combat misinformation online by increasing “the flow of good, factual information” by “creating, incubating, funding and lifting up fact-based solutions, voices, programs and initiatives.” The foundation is a part of Good Information Inc., a corporation backed by LinkedIn founder and far-left activist Reid Hoffman and billionaire leftist George Soros.
Good Information Inc.’s CEO is Tara McGowan, a Democratic operative who also founded ACRONYM, a leftist political advocacy group that focuses on voter mobilization and digital advertising. Starting in 2019, McGowan oversaw an ACRONYM project called Courier Newsroom, a media initiative that manages left-wing websites presenting themselves as local news outlets while spreading “hyperlocal partisan propaganda.” In an interview with VICE, McGowan admitted that “it’s more effective to create ‘news content’ than to simply run ads for Democratic causes.”
During the 2020 election cycle, ACRONYM ran a network of leftist propagandizing sites fronting as news outlets in the swing states of Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. In a memo McGowan wrote for ACRONYM before the election, she stated that each outlet “will pair original reporting and aggregated content with our ad placement and political targeting expertise to distribute these stories to strategic segments of voters before, during and between election cycles.”
Even left-leaning OpenSecrets sounded the alarm on the project, describing ACRONYM as a “liberal dark money group” and explaining “websites affiliated with Courier Newsroom that appear to be free-standing local news outlets are actually part of a coordinated effort with deep ties to Democractic political operatives.”
Simply put: the Good Information Foundation is run by Democratic operatives with a history of peddling Democratic Party propaganda and presenting it as news. Its latest campaign appears to be paying social media influencers to distribute disinformation and present it to their followers as factual, so as to gain an upper hand in the upcoming 2022 midterms.
TikTok, one of the most popular social media networks in America, will be a key battleground for such efforts. But according to its website, “TikTok does not allow paid political ads, and that includes content influencers are paid to create.” In the months leading up to the midterms, TikTok has said it will be notifying influencers and advertising agencies of these changes “so the rules of the road are abundantly clear when it comes to paid content around elections,” adding that any paid political content that is not properly disclosed would be “promptly removed from the platform.”
Neither TikTok nor the Good Information Foundation responded to The Federalist’s requests for comment.
Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. Her writing has been featured in the New York Post, National Review, and Townhall. She graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2021 with a major in politics and a minor in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vemrshll.