Young users share troubling realization about popular TikTok feature: 'I am super uncomfortable'
While using TikTok's popular Live feature to speak to fans in real time, a number of users found that their faces were distorted even though they hadn't specifically chosen to apply a filter.
According to MIT Technology Review, user Tori Dawn pointed out the unexpected effect in a viral post.
"This is not my face," they said, according to the publication, when they noticed a slimmer and more feminine face. They said they were impressed with the look of their jaw, which is usually androgynous.
"Congratulations TikTok, I'm feeling super uncomfortable and dysphoric now about whatever that shit is," they said in the caption of a post.
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Dawn wasn't alone. A number of users shared such posts in May 2021 when people noticed slight changes on their faces. Some wondered if the company was applying a secret beauty filter to try to make the users look more attractive to their audience.
User @ nessa.may8 noted that when the app clicked the Enhance button before going live on TikTok, it automatically applied a smoothing filter, adjusted her eyes, and trimmed her chin. She urged her audience to check out what levels TikTok changed for them.
After a reporter from MIT Technology Review contacted TikTok, the effect no longer occurred. The company confirmed the move in a brief statement that only stated that it was an issue that has been resolved.
While there's nothing wrong with trying to look good for your audience, experts say exposure to filters applied to your own face and the faces of others can negatively impact mental health. When people strive for perfection, they will always fall short, and that can feel like a devastating failure.
Regardless of your attitudes towards filters, it's safe to say that TikTok and all other platforms give users the ability to toggle them on and off and keep an eye out for glitches that could affect users' self-image.
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