Toxic TikTok Trends
Keywords:TikTok, Social Media, Toxic Trends, Body Image
With the rise of social media, body image dissatisfaction has increased among young females and has led to a variety of negative consequences such as eating disorders. The TikTok app is the newest form of social media where users are encouraged to post creative videos and provide commentary. TikTok’s ForYouPage, an algorithm that creates a symbiotic relationship between user interest in trends and a means to satisfy these interests, has promoted the long-standing theme of body image dissatisfaction on social media apps. The more users continue to express interest in toxic body trends, the more the app pushes this same content. My research will dive into the specific trends that appear on a TikTok ForYouPage, with the goal to determine the most toxic criteria prevalent on the TikTok body image atmosphere. For the purpose of my study, I created two separate equations: total measured toxicity (TMT) derived from a content analysis, and a total surveyed toxicity (TST) derived from a focus group survey. I concluded from the two equations that the act of giving or receiving qualitative or quantitative appearance rates is the most toxic criteria prevalent on TikTok’s body image atmosphere. The results of this study give insight to how the app should take action to eliminate toxic body trends and prioritize restricting the most toxic criteria, as determined by my study.
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