TikTokers, filming strangers may make you famous but it’s morally wrong
It seems like the days of a friendly person with a tablet walking up to you on the street and asking about your broadband provider are long gone.
Now, every time we open TikTok, we are greeted with startled members of the public who stutter and laugh awkwardly on camera after unknowingly waiving their rights on a viral fame permission form.
Sometimes with devastating consequences.
While it may once have been incredibly frustrating to imagine a stranger running up to you when you’re doing a weekly shop and filming you for social media, these types of interactions have become the norm.
And it’s terrible.
In the TikTok era, invading people’s privacy in the name of entertainment seems to be the standard.
Every day on the Internet, I come across a lot of videos in which “content creators” film members of the public, inviting them to play games, take quizzes or complete stupid tasks.
And this is probably done without their consent; without a signed approval form.
These people are filmed before they even realize they are being filmed and look like they have no control over where that content ends.
After a few personal questions, such as “How often do you shave?” or “What’s your favorite sex position?” TikToker or YouTuber go away and can do whatever they want with their precious footage.
How is it right? How did we get to the point where we should just expect a viral spread every time we walk out the door?
Especially in the age of AI, who knows what might happen to these footage? How it can be edited or transformed to suit the desire of the creator.
If you want to film someone for social media, you should talk about it long before the camera starts rolling.
Sure, it sounds like I’m going from zero to 100, but in today’s world, anything is possible.
We’ve heard AI generated songs using the voices of famous artists and even porn fakes, so I really don’t think it’s unrealistic for me to assume the worst that could happen.
Recently, a TikTok video went viral after someone walked up to a group of young people, patted them on the back and asked for a high five.
The creator’s intentions seemed innocent enough, but one member of the group was instantly stunned, and the rest huddled around them as they began to tremble and cry.
It was extremely uncomfortable to watch their behavior change in a matter of seconds due to this person’s actions.
Consequently, the human reaction spread and a flood of insults followed.
Social media users criticized them for being “overreacting”, completely wondering why a person might feel uncomfortable in such a situation.
It was later revealed that the panicked man in the million-viewed video was hearing-impaired, autistic, and suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder.
They admitted that they are now afraid to leave the house after what happened and have to limit their comments on social media after being torn to shreds due to their frightened reaction.
Hearing this made me so sad because not only does it show how quickly people online jump to conclusions and lash out at people they don’t know, it also shows how dire the consequences of filming or touching strangers without their consent can be. .
I will never forget how I was 15 years old, when I was walking around the city and browsing shops with friends, when a middle-aged man appeared out of nowhere and put his arm around my waist, whispering in my ear.
I can’t tell you any of the things he said, but I know how I felt. I froze with fear. Panic seized me. Only when a friend pulled me away did I break out of this frightened trance.
It goes without saying that by existing in public I am not suggesting that you touch me and I am not fair game for a stupid attempt to create a viral video.
However, content creators don’t care – they have subscribers, views, sponsorships, and influence. Their focus on subjects in their videos fades as soon as they stop recording.
I also believe that women also bear the brunt of abuse when it comes to viral spread.
Whether someone is mocking your looks, your weight, or making fun of you without knowing your personal trauma, appearing online as a woman exposes you to all sorts of harassment – and God forbid someone can identify you and write to you private message.
In fact, while writing this article, I saw an enlarged video on Twitter of someone making fun of an older woman for eating ice cream in her car while making sexual innuendos.
So, while you may want to argue that filming people in public is completely harmless, I want to tell you that our lives, especially women, make it impossible to avoid sexualization and being treated as a public object.
But people don’t just go viral after cameras are physically shoved in their faces. Sometimes they are filmed from afar. Sometimes it’s the guy in the hotel looking out his window.
I follow one TikToker that has a “people watching” series where it secretly records members of the public without their knowledge. He then adds a funny voice-over and mimics what he thinks people will say to each other.
It’s fun, agree. I laughed at this. But when you think about how creepy it really is, how can we put up with it?
No, filming people on the street isn’t “illegal”, but that doesn’t make it morally right, and if you’re a content creator, at what point did you decide to put your morals and people’s well-being aside? others for likes?
If you want to film someone for social media, this needs to be talked about long before the camera rolls. Informed consent is just as important, as this person needs to know the size of your platform and what they can agree to.
By not discussing this before pulling out your phone, you are violating all sorts of ethical norms.
Even though I love social media a lot, without a doubt one of the worst things that happens because of it is that people seem to have lost all sense of boundaries.
People will do anything in their 15 minutes.
The truth is…
Metro.co.uk’s weekly ‘The Truth Is…’ series aims to explore anything and everything when it comes to life’s unspoken truths and long-held secrets. Participants will challenge popular misconceptions on a topic close to their hearts, confess to a deeply personal secret, or share their wisdom from experience – good and bad – when it comes to romance or family relationships.
If you would like to share your truth with our readers, please email email@example.com.
MORE: AI makes you spend more time watching Instagram videos, says Mark Zuckerberg
MORE: Sleepy Girl Cocktail: Is it safe and will the popular TikTok drink help you fall asleep?
MORE: Emily Ratajkowski Admits She ‘Didn’t Expect’ Video Of Her Kissing Harry Styles To Go Viral And She’s ‘Bad’ About Olivia Wilde Amid Media Storm
Sign up for our London travel guide, verified reviews, great deals and contests. The best of London in your inbox