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VERIFY: Can TikTok challenge filter be removed to see more than what users intended?

The challenge asks users to dance behind a silhouette to show the shapes of their bodies.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2020 file photo, a view of the TikTok app logo, in Tokyo. Popular short-video Chinese app TikTok is cutting its workforce in India after with hundreds of millions of its users dropped it to comply with a government ban on dozens of Chinese apps amid a military standoff between the two countries.(AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

A recent trend on TikTok called the silhouette challenge attempted to promote body positivity by having users dance behind a silhouette to show the shapes of their bodies. However, soon after it went viral, other users pointed out that participants should be wary because editing software could be used to reveal what’s hidden by the silhouettes. Some even pointed out that there were groups of people who were already doing so.

THE QUESTION

Are people editing a filter used in a TikTok challenge to create lewd images of users?

THE ANSWER

Yes. It’s possible to edit silhouettes and light filters in a way to see what they’re hiding. Be wary of creeps and bad actors online.

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WHAT WE FOUND

Several TikTok users, including some who went viral, warned users that their silhouette challenge videos could be edited to essentially undo the silhouette and create suggestive photos.

The silhouette challenge is a trend that began on TikTok in which users, mostly women, used a filter to create a silhouette of themselves. The movement was an effort to promote body positivity, and thus the silhouettes were used to show the shapes of their bodies without nudity.

However, bad actors online immediately jumped on these videos to edit out the silhouettes and show others how to do the same. Several videos have remained on YouTube showing others how to do this with views numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

Credit: VERIFY
This screenshot shows several YouTube videos of people showing others how to edit these have racked up hundreds of thousands of views.

While we won’t go over how to edit out these filters, editing out silhouettes to reveal what’s behind them is possible and easy to do when the silhouettes are created with filters.

So ultimately, don’t trust a filter alone to hide your body when posting videos online. Malicious people can abuse editing software to reveal more than what you intended.

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