Who’s your favorite Tajikistani social media influencer? Don’t have one? Well, you soon might. According to a recent grant notice from the U.S. State Department, the U.S. is sending Tajikistan $500,000 to help “Support Independent Media Development and Bloggers.”
The grant notice states, “We will support projects that raise the quality and quantity of visual content created by amateur journalists and bloggers in order to expand their audience with attractive content.”
That’s right, your tax dollars are helping Tajikistani bloggers get more followers and come up with better content.
The grant will also “increase capacity of local journalists and bloggers through training on effective use of social media and providing small grants to those who show the most potential for long-term success; and increase professionalism of social media influencers on topics of public interest and inspire them to post more on such subjects.”
No further details are provided on exactly what topics of public interest qualify.
In addition to improving the social media prowess of bloggers and influencers, the grant can also go toward topics like countering violent extremism, supporting women’s empowerment, and promoting environmental awareness and action.
These all seem more important than the first topic but grant recipients can choose whichever project they like. In theory, every project could go toward supporting social media developers and bloggers instead of countering violent extremism.
It’s hard to say exactly where the problem of small audiences for Tajikistani bloggers and influencers should rank on our list of national priorities, but we think it’s safe to assume it should be near the bottom.
The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com. This article originally appeared in RealClearPolicy.