Overpowering TikTok filters

Overpowering TikTok filters

In a race towards the post-reality era, TikTok are leading the way. Image filters are now at a stage where they trigger visceral emotions and have a very real impact on psychological wellbeing. They have effects on self-esteem, self-image and confidence. More than that, they provide a glimpse of a future where base reality comes into question. It's not just about emotional response, but also about perception of what can be considered real and not.

I just quickly wanted to share two compilations showcasing how far these filters have now come. I don't think there is widespread awareness of the substantial improvements happening with this type of feature, nor the potential consequences. These filters change the appearance of a person in real-time, with next to no latency, glitches or artifacts.

Quick observation: It's revealing that so many users appear critical of the new beauty filter by the name of Bold Glamour. This could very well lead to a backfire effect.

TikTok's new 'beauty' filter

TikTok's not-so-subtle way of saying 'you are not enough'. The fact that it changes some people's facial features more than others tells you volumes about the "ideal" that has been programmed into the filter.

TikTok's teenage filter

This hit too close to home.

These compilations are based on a selection of videos from Twitter threads by user @memotv highlighting the beauty filter and teen filter.

Social Media is a Major Cause of the Mental Illness Epidemic in Teen Girls. Here’s The Evidence.
Journalists should stop saying that the evidence is just correlational
‘This Is a Problem’: A New Hyper-Realistic TikTok Beauty Filter Is Freaking People Out
The “Bold Glamour” filter, which seamlessly changes people’s facial features and simulates makeup, has been used over 6 million times.

Get Per's newsletter

Per Axbom's newsletter on digital ethics and compassionate design helps you stay updated on human rights issues in the tech space. You will receive select posts in your inbox 2-3 times per month.

Enter email

Become a Key Supporter

If you wish to support Per's efforts in writing and teaching on digital ethics and wellbeing in tech, you can become a key supporter and donate monthly.

For one-time donations you can use Swish (in Sweden) or PayPal.

Support Per