Earlier this week, TikTok users posted a video that has now got them and other TikTok users banned from the app indefinitely.
The video, posted by two user Tiana and – bizarrely – not one of the singers singing the song – featured the user holding a nitrous oxide canister. “Keep it safe,” the user says to the person filming the video. “4,000…” It then cuts to the user inhaling the gas as the singer sings.
In fact, it’s hard to tell if the user in the video is singing the song or singing along to it.
The person who posted the video on TikTok’s Instagram page later reported that Tiana was temporarily banned from the platform after fans started commenting that the user looked like 18-year-old pop sensation Ariana Grande. Tiana claims that she wasn’t Grande’s age but on Instagram she was 16 years old, when she was posting.
The Superficial reached out to Instagram, who asked us to send them the video, but we weren’t able to do so, as the video was quickly deleted.
The IWC watch account shared some screenshots of the video, adding in the caption that the account had apparently been banned because of Ariana Grande.
Ariana previously commented that they had heard that a version of the song had been made for TikTok, but no official video had been made so it was impossible to verify.
It’s still not known if Ariana was aware of the TikTok video being made.
Does this feel like a first for TikTok users? No. IWC, like a number of other brands, shares in posts that its fans make. This is standard practice on Instagram and certainly not an example of market bullying. The upload is very innocent and wholesome, we simply assumed that someone was admiring Ariana Grande and wrote a positive comment about it. After many comments on the post itself were made about being negative about it, the upload got deleted. No sensible person would have expected it to be an account banned by Instagram.
While neither the user nor IWC can prove that it’s Ariana Grande, when used so selectively, stunts like this one can have a huge amount of negative effects on ordinary people. There’s no way to verify that the user isn’t 16, which is the age of most TikTok users. A ban is on the cards, which is the worst thing that could happen. There was already too much negativity on TikTok and negative publicity about the platform is only going to harm the brand. It’s an unfortunate case of building up hype, but clearly not enough to keep to a tight code of conduct.
The backlash from the TikTok user has escalated with multiple tumbler accounts taking direct aim at the user. But TikTok have told the user that Tiana will have her account temporarily suspended and after multiple complaints – including one made by Ariana – the video will be deleted from the platform.