BuzzFeed News’s liberal bent has been well-documented and their recent profile on socialist social media creators was no different. BuzzFeed News’s article highlighted the growing anti-capitalist sentiment among America’s younger generations with the headline, “A Beautiful Chorus” – Leftists are Using TikTok To Break Down Socialism For the Next Generation of Voters.”
Not to outdo itself, the article included an image of a phone that has the TikTok app open and an image of socialist theorist Karl Marx bobbing his head to music.
TikTok is a growing social media platform that focuses on sharing short videos of users lip-syncing or performing comedy acts. The company was founded in China and had changed names from its original name, Musical.ly, to help it spread to a global scale.
BuzzFeed News said that the socialist TikTok creators, who lip-sync to popular songs on the app, are trying to “get [future voters] pulled into socialism” through their videos. Some of these activists told BuzzFeed News that they believe that TikTok “is just an entry point to combat… a battle between the populist left and right for the next generation of voters.”
The article profiled one activist, Gem Nwanne, whose videos have hundreds of thousands of views, tens of thousands of likes, and over 14,000 followers. Other sources told BuzzFeed that anti-capitalist videos have also popped up on TikTok, though they admitted that they did not have the hard data to back up their claims. BuzzFeed News should not have included that specific claim unless it had data to back it up, but it ran with it anyway, despite concerns about inaccuracy.
Throughout the article, there was no rebuttal of the benefits of capitalism nor the problems associated with socialism. BuzzFeed News did not provide any historical or current context about capitalism or socialism, such as Venezuela’s current economic crisis caused by socialist policies, or how the United States (and the West, by extension), thrived due to its capitalist economic system. The article did not mention human rights abuses under socialist regimes, such as the Soviet Union’s gulags and the Holodomor, which was the forced starvation of the Ukrainian people.
BuzzFeed News’s profile on pro-socialist social media creators lacked historical and current events context, lacked adequate background information on capitalism and socialism, and failed to acknowledge privacy concerns in using a China-based app.