How was a “guess my weight” TikTok filter a good idea?

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Problematic on TikTok is a weekly column that unpacks the troubling trends popping up on the popular platform and appearing in Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter on Tuesdays. If you want to get this column a day before we’ll publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr to get the daily bullet of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.

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Problematic on TikTok


Blink and you will miss it! tick tock offered users a “Guess my weight” filter for almost seven days before—not surprising-it was removed from the app. The removal is no surprise as encouraging people to make videos revolving around a random weight generator will certainly lead to it fat phobia and food culture.

A tick tock Using @mathias_yuh’s filter is a prime example from that cause and effect. In his video he says whether the filter estimates his weight reasonably correctly, he’s going on a diet. It does, and in his video’s caption he wrote: “nutrition it is folks!” (In a follow-up video, the TikToker clarified that it is him Not goes on a diet and says he hopes people do Don’t make a trend out of using the filter and diet because of what it says.)

Other Video by @_finallyallison posting about weight loss uses the filter. When it spits out a number, she screams with delight, “So you think I’m skinny,” meaning the number is lower than her actual weight.

Why it matters

The “estimate my weight” filter, no matter how it is usedwill always have adverse effects because it’s ingrained in us to moralize about our weight: Widespread phobia of fat Has (not correct) convinced us that lighter weight is better than heavier weight.

If someone uses the filter and thereby gets a lower weight than they actually are, they might feel lucky, like @_finallyallison. If this makes them weigh more than they actually are, they might consider dieting. All because of a filter that randomizes numbers.

And what about viewers of the TikToks using the filter? you feel bad or better about themselves after seeing how much other people weigh or how much the filter “thinks” other people weigh. That is a big domino effect to have a filter!

It seems like TikTok’s trust and security team has realized that the “guess my weight” filter is this more harmful than it’s worth—from December 19th is the filter no longer available on tik tok. Unfortunately the Videos using it will remain.

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*Initial publication: December 21, 2022 at 6:00 am CST

Tricia Crimmins

Tricia Crimmins is the IRL Editor at the Daily Dot. She is also a New York-based comedian and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She has previously written for Mashable, Complex Networks and Moment magazine. She can be found on Twitter at @TriciaCrimmins.

Tricia Crimmins How was a “guess my weight” TikTok filter a good idea?

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