#MessyTikTok Trend: Why We Expose Our Personal Lives Online

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It has been a particularly messy month on TikTok. Beyond privacy concerns and threats of a ban in the United States, TikTokers are exposing cheating partners via the #MessyTikTok hashtag, a viral social media trend that encourages users to get personal in a very public way.

Set to an original sound from TikTok user @Kr0yalty, first posted on August 31, TikTokers sing along to the lyrics “I like you; I don’t give a fuck about your…”—before the sound switches to an automated voice— “girlfriend. Actually, why don’t you tell her?” Though most #MessyTikTok posters do not actually tag the offenders in the video, this format still allows TikTok users to call out cheaters publicly, backed up by “receipts” in the form of photos, videos and text chains. 

North Carolina native Alyssa Stalica, 21, participated in this online trend. A few weeks earlier…

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