What Does “Fake Body” Mean on TikTok?

TikTok is no stranger to viral trends and hashtags, but what exactly does the phrase “fake body” mean on the popular social media platform? Videos featuring the “fake body” hashtag have garnered billions of views on TikTok, leaving many users intrigued and curious about its significance.

Avoiding Nudity Guidelines

The essence of the “fake body” trend lies in its ability to circumvent TikTok’s community guidelines on nudity. Users have discovered that by incorporating the phrase into captions and hashtags alongside partially nude content like bikini or shirtless videos, they can potentially avoid having their posts removed by the platform.

A Sneaky Tactic

The hashtag #fakebody alone has already amassed an impressive 1.8 billion views on TikTok. Furthermore, when combined with the yellow “warning” emoji, the hashtag has garnered over 840 million views. Interestingly, most of the posts featuring this hashtag are of real people dressed in revealing clothing like crop tops or bikinis.

The intention behind this tactic is to deceive TikTok’s automated moderation system into perceiving the body in the video as a mannequin or a sculpture, rather than an actual human being.

Moderation Changes

TikTok announced in July 2021 that it would implement automated systems to monitor and remove content containing “adult nudity.” This shift from solely relying on human content moderators means that some videos, which might not have breached TikTok’s rules as per human judgment, could now be automatically removed by the platform.

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Fitness influencer Jo Gyu Seon, based in South Korea, frequently shares shirtless videos on TikTok. He reveals that three of his previous posts were taken down before he started utilizing the “fake body” tag. However, a video where Seon lifts his shirt, posted on January 22 with the hashtag, remains on his account and has garnered 1.6 million views.

Seon believes that TikTok’s moderation processes should permit topless videos, emphasizing that they are not inherently sexual in nature. According to him, posting these videos serves as personal motivation for self-improvement and can inspire others as well.

Protecting Non-Explicit Content

Anna Petrenko, a circus performer with over 400,000 TikTok followers, had her account deleted in the past for uploading “candid” videos of herself in revealing clothing. To avoid further removals, Petrenko now exercises caution and strategically includes the “fake body” tag in her videos that she does not deem sexually explicit.

One of Petrenko’s recent videos captures her during a lingerie photoshoot, accompanied by the “fake body” caption. Surprisingly, this video remains on her account and has garnered nearly 90,000 views in just four days.

Guidelines on Nudity

TikTok’s guidelines are clear when it comes to nudity. They explicitly state that content revealing an excessive amount of breasts, genitals, anus, or buttocks will not be allowed on the platform. The guidelines further proclaim a strict prohibition against nudity, pornography, and sexually explicit content.

Similar guidelines are in place on other social media platforms, including Instagram and Facebook. These platforms, for instance, prohibit depictions of genitalia and female nipples, with the exception of breastfeeding content.

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TikTok has chosen not to comment on the matter when approached by Insider.

For more intriguing stories like this, be sure to explore the coverage by Insider’s Digital Culture team.

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