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There's a Dark Side to the Viral Silhouette Challenge

Videos are being edited to better reveal their sometimes-naked subjects
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2021 9:05 AM CST

(Newser) – The "silhouette challenge" is the latest viral craze sweeping social media sites like TikTok and Instagram, this one meant to empower women. Women post videos of themselves dancing, often partially or completely nude, with their bodies appearing in silhouette. Outlets like Cosmopolitan and the Sun explain how to copy celeb versions from Chloe Bailey and Tiffany Haddish and Common, using a faint light source and Snapchat's "Vin Rouge" filter. There's just one problem: That filter can be all but erased after the fact. "Some people have found a way to turn a feel-good trend into depraved gratification," BuzzFeed reports, noting instructions on how to use editing software to adjust the video's contrast and color to lessen the silhouette effect have been widely shared.

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Related posts have appeared on YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit, amid calls that they be taken down for privacy violations. Two Twitter accounts that were editing videos on request have been suspended, while a subreddit where edited videos were posted has been banned, per BuzzFeed. It notes "the editing isn't able to revert the videos back to their original form, but can reveal more details." "In many cases, this meant a woman's nude body that was obscured by the filter was now visible," per Daily Dot. Many users are now warning women to be careful how they appear in their posts. "Just make sure you're being cognizant of what you're wearing before you do all the editing for the final product," one TikTok user says in a video liked more than 55,000 times. (Read more social media stories.)

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