The TikTok “For You” Page Shows Me Sexual Content Constantly
At first, it seems like a harmless TikTok video — a bit funny but mostly cringe.
Two young girls dance, then both laugh out loud. To end the video, one of the girls leans forward to her smartphone. She is wearing a loose t-shirt, and as it had to come, her breasts and bra got exposed through her movement.
It’s the first video I saw when I opened TikTok this day.
On the so-called “For You” page, the algorithm suggests videos to you — even if you don’t follow the content creators at all.
I don’t know how old the two girls were — but the video has over 500,000 views. The comments are 99% people who have also noticed what is to see. Many of the words are very offensive.
Every single time I open the app, I see similar content.
It’s always women, mostly very young; their breasts or butts are the video's focus. I am not sure if it’s on purpose or unintentional for the young women.
I never searched for something like this — but now I know why such content is shown to me. Here is why.
The Algorithm Knows More Than We Assume
There is an essential difference between things you like and things you pay attention to. The algorithm can’t look inside your head — it can only document what content you reward with attention.
Yet, there are so many factors that most people don’t even realize:
- How long you watched the video.
- Whether you went to the profile afterward.
- Whether you watched the video again.
- Whether you paused the video.
- Whether you looked at the comments.
These are all things that many social media algorithms take into account.
Even though I didn’t like any of the videos, I often went to the profile afterward. I looked at the comments and am ultimately a simple man who pressed the replay button sometimes.
I’m not the only one surprised about the videos on the For-You page, and that’s a problem.
TikTok Is a Battlefield of Passive-Aggressiveness
You don’t open the app expecting a specific type of content — only the algorithm knows what you’re going to get. This is a huge problem.
I was a little ashamed that the For You page shows me such lewd content.
For many other people, especially young men, it seems to turn into anger.
But instead of blaming the algorithm, they start to attack the content creators. They completely neglect the fact that the content creator doesn’t choose who the video is shown to.
The comments under the videos are a dumpster fire of toxicity.
There is an exceptionally high level of passive-aggressiveness — statements that are not clearly offensive and therefore not deleted by the creators or the app itself.
All the comments that are still there after hours are not even the worst.
Furthermore, the comments are only the visible part of the aggression: harassment via private messages or real life is not uncommon.
Sometimes, TikTok rewards small content creators with gigantic reach. I have a friend who has only 300 followers on TikTok — but her last video got over 100k views.
I am concerned about this development. Young people should not be rewarded with thousands of views by sexualizing themselves.
Also, they should not become victims of countless insults.
Especially since the suicide of 18-year-old TikTok star Dazharia Shaffer, we should be concerned. The media attention might have contributed to her mental problems.
The question is, who should do the educating?
Many parents don’t even begin to understand what their children are doing on the Internet.
Schools are also slow to catch up with digital developments.
Age restrictions are hardly effective — they already exist for many apps, but rarely anyone knows that.
To research this article, I opened TikTok a few times.
The second time, the for you page showed the following video to me.
On the Instagram account of the girl, I could find out that she is only 14.
Yes, 14 — I have not mistyped.