The blandness of TikTok’s biggest stars by Rebecca Jennings (Vox)
[P]op culture is being increasingly determined by algorithms… [W]hat we’re seeing is the lowest common denominator of what human beings want to look at, appealing to our most base impulses and exploiting existing biases toward thinness, whiteness, and wealth.
TikTok fame celebrates a different kind of mediocrity, though, the kind where “relatability” means adhering to the internet’s fluctuating beauty standards and approachable upper-middle-classness and never saying anything that might indicate a personality.
What Works by Tara McMullin
Creators are basing their livelihoods on the performance of an identity through the expression of their knowledge, experiences, or talents.
As our actions are influenced by what Richard Seymour dubs the twittering machine, our identities are revealed to us by the algorithm. Not only does the machine tell us who we are and who we will become, it turns around and sells us the symbols of the identity. My identity is commodified in an instant. Who I Am and What I Do On the Internet can feel like an act of self-expression, but they are more likely artifacts of conformity.