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@worldoftshirts/TikTok Remix by Caterina Cox

An honest review of the WorldofTShirts experience

After a night with one of TikTok’s most notorious personalities, I was left disturbed by how TikTok’s algorithm distorts how we see creators.


Steven Asarch


Posted on Sep 20, 2023   Updated on Sep 20, 2023, 2:28 pm CDT


The TikTok algorithm has made my For You Page a breeding ground of NYC travel vlogs, food reviews, and eccentric internet personalities. All of these niches are checked by Joshua Block, known to his 2.5 million followers as WorldofTShirts, who has dominated my feed for the past year. Videos of the 21-year-old self-proclaimed king of New York, threatening to sue, vomiting, drinking profusely, and getting accosted on the street appear every time I open my app. 

The algorithm has unintentionally painted a lop-sided, parasocial picture of Joshua Block in the midst of a constant swirl of chaos and controversy. But after spending years interviewing creators, I knew that couldn’t be who he actually was. Oftentimes a creator’s vlog voice, or the personality they put online, won’t give you the whole picture of who they actually are, and I wanted to learn the truth. 

So after some snooping, I found that Block has been putting on NYC tours of the East Village and North Brooklyn, promising that in the meet-and-greet I will “learn about the history of Abraham Lincoln” and a “sing-along of New York.” I’ve lived in the city for a decade so on a whim, I spent $30 and got ready to take the World of TShirts experience. …

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*First Published: Sep 20, 2023, 2:21 pm CDT