Rape Day: April 24 was just another day for most people. People on TikTok, on the other hand, were of a different mind. “Take a portion of them with you if you’re ever assaulted,” one said.
“A word of advice for April 24 – phoning 911 is an option, but a six-inch blade never loses its reception,” one user wrote.
The Day of National Rape Day Viral on the Social Media | Rape Day
After a menacing video on the platform urged the day to be declared “National Rape Day,” it persuaded users that women were in danger. With the hashtag # April 24, hundreds of reaction videos were posted, garnering over 181 million views.
Stay at home, women were urged, and arm yourself for self-defense. Rapists should be killed, according to one user.
What is the issue? The video didn’t appear to be available | Rape Day
Most users expect to see the current dancing fads, relevant POV drawings, transitions that have been rinsed to death, and whatever else TikTok’s unique FYP algorithm conjures up. However, on rare occasions, the app becomes a focal point for widespread terror.
After a group of newborn witches supposedly hexed the moon in 2020, users dreaded approaching doom. Then there was the # August 27 fad, in which people were told they’d been “selected” for something to happen on the date, which made some people nervous.
The most recent # April 24 reaction videos are the most distressing yet, mainly because they prey on genuine fears of sexual assault. When VICE contacted TikTok, the firm said it had found no proof of a video announcing the day of violence.
VICE discovered other people who had incorporated a portion of what appeared to be the original film into their posts. Still, a full version of the clip accessible on YouTube made no mention of the date.
Some People are thinking it Joke on Tik Tok | Rape Day
What happened next appears to be becoming more common on the app: a provocative prank appeared on the timelines of a few people. Users reacted angrily, then others responded to the reactions, and still more people reacted.
With the original clip either missing or destroyed, all that was left were a slew of fear-mongering videos with no source and no one to blame.
“Because of the way TikTok is constructed, it’s difficult to observe things chronologically, which isn’t the case with other social media platforms,” explains Laura Garcia of First Draft News, a misinformation journalist. “Provenance is one of the first pillars of information verification.
If you can find the original, you can comprehend the context of a tale; however, if you can’t find it or it’s been taken down, it’s much more difficult. The problem with these trends is that the algorithm makes tracing the source impossible.”
Most of the Followers reacted on the Hashtag of Rape Day
Despite not seeing the original video, Becca, a 17-year-old from Ontario, Canada, was one of the first to post about August 27 last year. “I noticed that # August 27 was a popular hashtag, so I did some research on it.”
“I figured I’d post it with my followers,” she says, “but I didn’t anticipate it to gain as many views as it did.”
Does she think the day was indeed “special” now that she feels about it? “I believe it was real, but that is just my opinion.” I also believe that many people misinterpreted the hashtag and used it to create disturbing videos, which contributed to the trend’s confusion.”
Chayse, a 22-year-old from Indiana, made a video in reaction to the # April 24 worries earlier this month — without seeing the original.
I saw my friend’s response video, but there were jokes in the comments saying stuff like ‘we’re coming for you or ‘hopefully you run faster than me,” she told VICE. As a result, I was inspired to create my video.”
Chayse says she didn’t mean to scare anyone with her message, but she wanted to point out that viral trends can lead to people actively partaking in them.
“I’m a survivor of sexual assault, and I’m not going to allow other women to cower or hide because someone is making a joke out of anything.”
Unknowingly women are not aware of the Day on its Original Video
But why do people feel driven to make reaction films without checking the facts first? “I pretty much decided to put my piece out there because [sexual assault] can happen at any time,” Elyse, a 20-year-old Atlanta resident who also posted a # April 24 video, explains.
Women need to know how to protect themselves whether it’s April 24 or any other day.” But I didn’t go to the trouble of looking for the original video
According to Garcia, a misinformation specialist, social media allows us to express and perform our identities for the communities and tribes we belong to. She argues that “taking a stand on things like sexual harassment and rape communicates to a community.”
“It becomes an identity politics issue whether you’re a man standing in solidarity with women or a woman speaking up for women’s rights.”
The Ongoing of Making TikTok Emotional Videos and its result
So much of the reaction video economy appears to depend on the fact that you can’t just retweet a TikTok. Instead, to express unity and make your voice heard, you can only “duet” other videos on the platform.
TikTok’s technology appears to reward individuals who create content that makes their audience feel emotionally connected when fear is the motive.
If you look at it cynically, people receive likes and shares for making emotional films, even if that wasn’t their initial objective.
Though we appear to grasp better how fake news spreads in recent years, reaction videos like these manage to slip through the cracks.
The difficulty with disinformation, and why the word ‘fake news’ doesn’t cut it,” Garcia explains, “is that the concept of false news is too binary.”
Either something is false, or it isn’t,” says the narrator. The issue with disinformation is that it is a multi-faceted phenomenon. Despite possessing kernels of truth, these types of reaction videos lack critical context and wind up being quite misleading.”
So, what does TikTok have to offer | Rape Day
The company informed VICE that it couldn’t locate any original videos that sparked the April 24 hashtag. It removes content that praises or promotes non-consensual sex practices right away. On the other hand, Garcia claims that the majority of these moderation processes are hidden from appropriate inspection.
“What we get to witness is the tip of the iceberg or the aftereffect of what they’ve done,” she explains.
TikTok has begun labeling potential misinformation on topics such as COVID-19 or elections to create friction for users and make them think twice before sharing something,” says the company.
However, we lack the evidence to know whether these strategies are effective. We’re going on the assumption that they do.”
The reaction video loop will only continue unless there is a substantial moderator intervention on TikTok or a significant service reorganization. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for another TikTok panic to hit your FYP feed shortly.