Home LATEST NEWS HIGH TECH “I exhibit” accounts in Quebec schools: anatomy of a TikTok phenomenon

“I exhibit” accounts in Quebec schools: anatomy of a TikTok phenomenon

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As reported earlier this week ICI Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, the trend is to publicly post a photo or screenshot of a social network profile of the student in question. If the people exposed sometimes are for supposedly positive reasons (I expose the most beautiful girl in school), they are more often victims of denigrating, abusive or downright defamatory remarks.

These anonymous accounts usually bear the name I expose, followed by the name of the school concerned. The videos all contain the same soundtrack, the song Godo Godo by Ivorian rapper Fior 2 Bior: TikTok allows you to create and remix videos from the same sound, and it is often with the help of these sounds that trends are born on the platform.

The Decryptors found no less than 30 accounts associated with high schools and an elementary school in many parts of Quebec, which were still hosting videos at press time. There are more than 20 other similar accounts devoid of content that sometimes have hundreds of subscribers, presumably because the videos have been deleted.

Screenshot from a TikTok video about

Students from dozens of high schools across Quebec have been “exposed” anonymously on TikTok accounts in the past week.

Photo: Screenshot

A TikTok spokeswoman confirmed that multiple accounts I expose were banned around July 25. She could not say which accounts were in question and how many of them were affected.

Old Phenomenon, New Platform

The mechanism of posting people on social media is not new, notes Camille Alloing, a professor in the Department of Social and Public Communication at theUQAM and member of the Digital Research Network.

Mediatizing to play on people’s reputation or to confront them with norms specific to groups has been a phenomenon specific to the web for years, whether in the case of social mobilization or forms of sociability., argues the researcher. He draws a parallel with the “Spotted” Facebook pages, popular in the early 2010s, which anonymously posted messages sent to them via private messaging.

According to Alloing, the difference between TikTok and other social networks is the lightning speed at which these trends can popularize on the platform due to the way its recommendation algorithm works.

All platforms work by mimicry, that is to say that if we see others doing something, we will want to reproduce it. But with TikTok, if you’re the same age, interested in the same types of content, and live in the same place, you’ll see similar content, which can overexpose certain trends. It can promote mimicry because we will have the impression that everyone does thathe analyzes.

The scientific literature shows that it is the age group of 12 to 15 years – incidentally, the one who embodies this trend – who use social networks the most as a tool for socialization, notes Nina Duque, doctoral student in communications at the ‘UQAM and specialist in the digital practices of adolescents.

It’s a complex time, and navigating through this complexity means making a lot of mistakes.says Ms. Duque. We try a little to ensure our position in our group, often to the detriment of others. If we laugh at someone, we organize ourselves so that others don’t laugh at us. These are protective mechanisms that can translate into problematic behaviors that can be amplified by social networks.

From Ivory Coast to Saguenay: how I expose settled in Quebec

In December 2021, the Ivorian rapper Fior 2 Bior launches his song Godo Godo and post it on YouTube. A few weeks later, the song made its first appearance on TikTok: Ivorian artist Kevin Chambala uploaded an extract to his account, which has nearly 500,000 subscribers.

Over the following months, the snippet was used a few times in TikTok videos by Ivorians. There is no specific theme in these videos.

Around July 8, the trend takes off. Two French users publish videos on TikTok where they announce a new trend : the girls must reveal (or to display) the identity of their ex-boyfriends who cheated on them. Both videos contain the song Godo Godo. One of them is listened to 303,000 times and the other 189,000 times.

The trend I display exploded in popularity over the next few days. Dozens of young women copy the format of these videos to in turn denounce their unfaithful boyfriends. Some of them reach over a million views.

The song Godo Godo is then used on TikTok to denounce all kinds of behavior. Young men use it to to display the men with whom they quarrel; other people display rather the identity of the person they secretly admire.

The trend I display reached its peak between July 16 and 19. Two influencers post videos on TikTok and reach 1.8 million and 1.9 million views, while hundreds of tiktokers do the same. There are altogether 25,000 videos on TikTok that include the sound clip of Godo Godo.

On July 21, the trend settles in Quebec. The account jexposelafon is created and publishes a first video, seeking to expose a teenager from Odyssée Lafontaine high school in Saguenay. Four other accounts I expose linked to this school are created in a few hours.

In the following week, around sixty similar accounts were created for Quebec schools in Saguenay, Sept-Îles, Val-Morin, Lavaltrie, Jonquière, Beauharnois, Thetford, Chandler, Saint-Constant, Mont-Laurier, Baie-Comeau , Quebec and Montreal. We were also able to find an account associated with a high school in New Brunswick and another with an elementary school in Montreal.

These are 24 almost identical videos.

Many TikTok “j’expose” accounts have been created in Quebec high schools in the past few days.

Photo: Screenshot – TikTok

A handful of those accounts have since been closed. It was impossible to know if these were deleted by TikTok or their creators.

The video I expose the most popular associated with a Quebec school has been viewed more than 19,000 times. This is a video of the first account I expose to have been put online, which asserts [l’École secondaire l’Odyssée Lafontaine] who could catch each other’s assholes [sic]“,”text”:”exposing the girl of [l’École secondaire l’Odyssée Lafontaine] who could catch each other’s assholes [sic]”}}”>expose the girl of [l’École secondaire l’Odyssée Lafontaine] who could catch each other’s assholes [sic] and includes a photo of a young teenage girl.

By way of comparison, this school had nearly 1,900 students during the 2018-2019 school year. But we must nuancesays Nina Duque. The vast majority of young people find this kind of trend aberrant, and it is not because they subscribe to an account or because they watch a video that they agree with the comments conveyed.

Decryptors.  Marie-Pier Elie, Jeff Yates, Nicholas De Rosa and Alexis De Lancer.
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