Minneapolis Scraps Plan to Pay Influencers to Fight Misinformation During Officers’ Trials

Minneapolis’ city would have paid six social media influencers $2,000 each to share messages during the former police officer Derek Chauvin‘s trials in the killing of George Floyd. 

What We Know: 

  • Last May, George Floyd was killed by Derek Chauvin, 44, a white police officer convicted of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
  • On March 1, 2021, the Minneapolis city council shut down the plan of paying six social media influencers to share messages during the George Floyd trials against former police officer Derek Chauvin. The public criticized the idea and felt as though the effort aimed at public opinion.
  • Minneapolis city council approved the plan last month, which included hiring the influencers, defined as having a “large social media presence.” It would have required them to share “city generated and approved messages.” The funds stem from a $1 million plan approved by the Minneapolis city council as the city braces for possible unrest over the controversial case. 
  • After approving the plan, the city council faced backlash and criticism on social media from residents and community groups after details about the program. The goal is to increase access to information to communities that do not typically follow mainstream news sources or city communications channels and who do not consume English words, the council said in a statement. 
  • The director of neighborhood and community relations, David Rubedor, explained how using the term social media influencers did not reflect “what we are asking our partners, and it caused confusion in the community” during a news conference on Monday. 

The next step for this plan is for the legislation to require ten senate Republican votes joining all fifty Democrats to make this bill get to President Biden’s desk. 

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