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Women Are Warning Creators About The TikTok Silhouette Challenge

Dozens of videos on YouTube show how to remove the red filter and reveal posters' bodies.

Posted on February 1, 2021, at 2:50 p.m. ET

@ceryswinn2/TikTok / Via

By now you've probably seen the silhouette challenge on TikTok, with its distinct red filter.

The trend started as a form of empowerment, a way for people to feel sexy and good in their bodies. But because everything is terrible, some people have found a way to turn a feel-good trend into depraved gratification.

There are now many videos on YouTube instructing people how to use editing software or apps to change the contrast and color in a way that reduces the silhouette effect. Because participants are just a silhouette in the challenge, many are wearing less clothing, or lingerie, or nothing at all. The goal of the editing is to reveal their bodies.

A search on YouTube readily turned up dozens of results for these tutorials.


Instructions have also been shared on Twitter and Reddit. A subreddit for posting edited videos, called r/SilhouetteUnfiltered, has already been banned. At least two Twitter accounts that were editing TikToks on request and shaming the people in them have been suspended.

Now, people on social media are warning each other about the tutorials and advising people that whatever they are (or aren't) wearing may end up being seen. The editing isn't able to revert the videos back to their original form, but can reveal more details.

This TikTok about it, posted by @lostvsnryshots, has been liked more than 55,000 times.

"Just make sure you're being cognizant of what you're wearing before you do all the editing for the final product," the poster says in the TikTok.

In a follow-up TikTok, @lostvsnryshots refuses to share tips on how to reverse-edit the videos and shows comments from people saying the post had "ruined" the fun.

Another TikToker, @brinabee786, warned others how easy it is, using a photo of herself.

And this Facebook post was shared more than 2,000 times.

People on social media are now calling out YouTube for hosting the tutorials and asking others to report the videos.

Obviously not linking, but there are videos all over YouTube offering tutorials for how to "remove" the red filter for TikTok's Silhouette Challenge, in which women dance nude or partially nude in silhouette. This is a huge consent violation and @YouTube should remove them ASAP.

Twitter: @ejdickson

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Google for comment.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.