A kind of creepy trend has storytelling TikTokers polarized.
People are inventing backstories for fictional characters for fun. It may sound harmless, but the trouble is they’re recording strangers to portray these characters without their consent. Dubbed as “fake humans” or “fake people” on TikTok, these profiles have become widely popular but are not without detractors.
What is the “fake people” TikTok trend?
This viral trend sees TikTokers creating character profiles for total strangers that they film without consent. The trend is particularly popular on college campuses.
A typical post features footage of the stranger walking about in public. Users then overlay text that includes a fictional name, age and backstory.
Here are some examples of the “fake people” TikTok trend.
The @fakepeopleofbayloru features students from Baylor University in Texas. In this video, the description for one fake person reads, “Alexis, 19, learned in her intro psych class this week that imitating someone’s behaviors make them more attracted to you and is trying it out on Matt.”
One user commented, “Does no one find it weird that they’re just being filmed? Like all these people are being recorded unbeknownst to them.”
Another account follows the “fake humans of American University.”
“Gianna, 19, she just ghosted a guy she was hooking up with because he tried to mansplain her own major to her,” the caption reads.
A TikTok dedicated to the “fake people of Chapel Hill” had a video with over 1.1 million views.
“Meghan, 17, baby freshman, grew up in Asheville with hippie-granola parents. [She] has always believed in the power of natural immunity but may get vaccinated due to peer pressure,” the video caption said.
While lots of people thought it was funny, others dreaded the thought of being recorded for the meme.
“It’s suddenly become my worst fear to show up in one of these now,” someone commented.
“New irrational fear unlocked, someone doing this trend on me,” another said.
“If someone filmed one of these of me, I would simply choose to pass away,” a user wrote.
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