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Blink and you’ll miss it! TikTok offered users a “guess my weight” filter for just about seven days before—unsurprisingly—it was removed from the app. The removal isn’t a surprise because encouraging people to make videos centered around a random weight generator will surely result in fatphobia and diet culture.
A TikTok using the filter from @mathias_yuh is a prime example of that cause and effect. In his video he says if the filter guesses his weight somewhat correctly, he’ll go on a diet. It does, and in the caption of his video, he wrote “diet it is folks!” (In a follow up video, the TikToker clarified that he’s not going on a diet and says that he hopes that people don’t make a trend out of using the filter and dieting because of what it says.)
Another video from @_finallyallison, who posts about weight loss, uses the filter. When it spits out a number, she screams “so you think I’m skinny” with glee, implying the number is lower than her actual weight.
Why it matters
The “guess my weight” filter, no matter how it’s used, will always have adverse effects because it is deeply ingrained in us to moralize our weight: Widespread fatphobia has (incorrectly) convinced us that a lower weight is better than a higher weight.
If someone uses the filter and it gives them a lower weight than they actually are, they might feel happy, like @_finallyallison. If it gives them a higher weight than they actually are, they might consider going on a diet. All because of a filter that randomizes numbers.
And what about viewers of the TikToks that use the filter? They might feel bad, or better, about themselves after seeing how much other people weigh, or how much the filter “thinks” other people weigh. That’s a big domino effect for a filter to have!
It seems like TikTok’s Trust and Safety team realized that the “guess my weight” filter is more harmful than it’s worth—as of December 19, the filter is no longer available on TikTok. Unfortunately, the videos that use it remain.