In a recent ‘Get Ready With Me’ TikTok, a creator shared how she refused to go to a friend’s wedding because it was alcohol-free. The controversial take inspired discourse on multiple apps, with one X/Twitter thread accumulating over 26.2 million views. People hotly debated whether choosing a boozy night over a friend’s wedding makes you a bad person.
Except, it turns out the storytime wasn’t actually the creator’s story at all.
In the closing moments of the TikTok, the creator made a seemingly innocuous comment about how much she loves the attachment to the Wavytalk hair curling iron, which she just so happened to be using and is marked as eligible for commission through TikTok Shop.
This, @GlowjaCat explained, proves that “creators are using fake inflammatory story times” to drive sales.
“The apps are cooked,” she added. “Everything is for engagement.”
Is this X user right? In principle, maybe so. But the X repost of this TikTok video misses out on some vital context. Namely, the original TikTok discloses that this is a Reddit story in the caption of the video.
But this would only be clear if you stopped scrolling and read the caption which, as you know, is something a lot of us skip.
If anything, the X repost missing this context demonstrates just how quickly and easily misinformation spreads. But equally, the points this X user makes aren’t entirely unfounded. There’s a marked difference between re-telling a story you heard from Reddit, and reenacting said story as if it were your own experience.
And overall, there’s a story here about how TikTok Shop is affecting the media landscape in nefarious ways, making the TikTok experience inauthentic. This story is perhaps a little dramatic, since we all know that influencers have been faking videos for clout as long as the internet has existed.
But still, we can all agree that sly advertising techniques like these are a little shady.