UPDATED 8:47 AM PT – Monday, March 1, 2021
The city of Minneapolis plans to pay social media influencers to shape public opinion during the trial of the police officer accused in the death of George Floyd.
The Minneapolis City Council voted Friday to pay six influencers to disseminate talking points throughout the upcoming trial of officer Derek Chauvin. The communications and de-escalation plan is expected to cost taxpayers $1 million.
The Minneapolis City Council has unanimously approved paying six social media influencers to spread city-approved messaging during the upcoming murder trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged in George Floyd’s death. On Friday, the council approved $1,181,500 pic.twitter.com/7Yqj6gvlG2
— Afzal Niaz M.D (@DrAfzalNiaz) February 28, 2021
The city’s ruling Democrats said the influencers are tasked with fighting rumors and false information online. The goal is to rally support among African American, Indian, Islamic and Latino communities by targeting those who don’t follow mainstream media and don’t consume information in English
“What we’re really trying to do is help folks understand what they’re going to be seeing, answer questions about that,” explained Sarah Davis, the executive director of the Legal Rights Center.
Influencers will be paid $2,000 each to cover Chauvin’s trial in early March as well as a separate trial for three police officers also charged in Floyd’s case slated for August.