TikTok: The Darkside of Surveillance

  • Amber Richards


TikTok is a new social media app that was created by the Chinese company ‘ByteDance’ in 2017. The mobile video app allows users to upload short-form videos that are typically 15 seconds long and are commonly ‘funny dances, physical stunts, short-form skits, and good-humored confessionals straight to camera’ (Long, 2020). TikTok is the fastest growing app and is increasingly popular with young people as most users are teens; people over 20 are viewed as ‘old’ in the world of TikTok. The best representation for TikTok is Charli D’Amelio, an American 16-year-old who has gained fame through sharing dancing videos and has become the first user to reach 100 million followers on the app. In a postmodern society overcome with new media, Charli D’Amelio can be deemed a martyr for new ICTs that encourage synoptic surveillance and the desire to be watched.