The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

The Dark Side

December 14, 2020


Brynn Toomasson

A girl is experiencing the dark aspects of TikTok that includes racism, body shaming, and cyberbullying.

While many videos express positivity and reassurance, there are some negative aspects of the app. As seen on other social media platforms, TikTok has been an outlet for malicious people to spread hate. According to Pew Research, 59% of teens in America have been harassed or bullied online.

“Because you’re behind a screen, there is a lot of cyberbullying that comes from anonymous accounts, and it definitely affects everybody,” Kuo said. “There’s a lot of body shaming, and there’s a lot of negative things that happen because people don’t have to say it face-to-face.”

Online harassment typically happens in the comment section, where viewers can freely comment on their thoughts. However, the comment section may be turned off or only allow friends to discuss. The power rests in the creator’s hands. While some jokes can be funny, they can also hurt content creators and other viewers.

“I think it hits influencers the most,” Kuo said. “People who’ve risen to fame are being bashed by people who don’t think they deserve that fame. Scrolling through comments or seeing how certain influencers have reacted to quick fame, there is still a lot of negativity.”

Many other students pointed this out in the survey, one including Yuryev. When bringing up the topic, his disgust for the negativity was apparent.

“The TikTok community does not seem like the nicest place. They’re always mean and judgemental, and there’s so much drama, “Yuryev said.

Some influencers have problems with each other, leading to targeted short videos. As a result of this, creators drag millions of viewers into the drama. Some of these causes can vary, but a major one is conflicting views. One example is political arguments that boomed during the 2020 election. During this time, TikTok became a platform for political education and discussions. In fact, 64% of Americans say that social media has had a mostly negative influence on the events that are happening in America today, one being the election.

On the other hand, other conflicts can be over the number of followers. Consequently, quarrels and harsh behavior can appear on the app, which doesn’t have the best influence on viewers.

About the Photographer
Photo of Brynn Toomasson
Brynn Toomasson, Staff Writer
Brynn Tomasson is a sophomore at Carlmont High School and in her first year in the Media Arts/Journalism program. She is interested in journalism because it's a way of telling the truth and expressing culture. She's on the school's basketball and lacrosse team and involved in multiple clubs, and is knowledgeable on many aspects of Carlmont.

Twitter @ToomassonBrynn


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