The sexy viral video format calls on users to make a video that shows only their silhouette against the backdrop of colorful lighting, often red. Creators and celebrities alike have taken a stab at it.
The trend, meant to empower creators to embrace their bodies, has turned into something much more sinister. Naturally.
A series of YouTube tutorials instructing people how to use editing software to remove the filter to reduce the silhouette effect on the videos has popped up.
The intent of the videos seems to be to reveal the bodies of participants who often wear less clothing than usual to accentuate their silhouettes — sometimes donning lingerie or nothing at all. These tutorials have thousands of views, and the numbers are climbing by the hour.
According to BuzzFeed News, those tutorials have also spread to Twitter and Reddit. The r/SilhouetteUnfiltered, which is dedicated to sharing those edited videos, has already been banned. At least two Twitter accounts that edit footage on request and shame the people involved have been suspended.
So how do you remove the Silhouette Challenge filter?
Women have taken to TikTok to warn fellow creators that whatever they wear in their videos may end up being seen, whether they like it or not.
“Just make sure you’re being cognizant of what you’re wearing,” TikTok user @lostvsnryshots, who is a photographer, said in a video. “Anyone can easily take those images and revert them back to the original.”
Many commenters called her out for spreading awareness that this can be done in the first place, but others thanked her for spreading known information in a thoughtful way.
“We are living in a wicked world,” one user said.
“This is how we do it, women and girls watching out for each other,” another wrote.
In a follow-up post, @lostvsnryshots refused to share tips on how to reverse-edit the videos and put users on blast for saying she “ruined” the fun.
“There are people out there who will take those extra steps to make your life hell,” she said in the video.
A Facebook post from Danyelle Thomas that captured one of the Twitter accounts sharing reverted footage has gone viral as well.
Men are currently removing the vin rouge red filter from the silhouette challenge. This is readily happening across…Posted by Danyelle Thomas on Saturday, January 30, 2021
“When reminded that this is gross, creepy, and non-consenting,” she wrote in her post. “The same men going through extraordinary lengths to be creepy are finger-wagging women about what they shouldn’t put on the internet.”
“Absolutely disgustingly sickening,” one user responded.
“Gross,” another said.
In the past few days, these warnings have taken off. It’s hard to look up Silhouette Challenge videos without finding either a filter removal tutorial or messages cautioning against it.
As always — stay vigilant out there on the internet, friends.
In The Know is now available on Apple News — follow us here!
If you found this story interesting, check out TikTok’s safer Buss It Challenge.
More from In The Know: