A warning for parents about code words on social media apps

For example, the “mascara trend” on TikTok has nothing at all to do with mascara
You may have heard about a “Mascara trend” on TiKtok, but it has nothing to do with makeup.
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 5:39 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Social media apps are giving a new meaning to common words.

You may have heard about a “Mascara trend” on TikTok, but it has nothing to do with makeup.

Instead, the word “mascara” is being used to talk about body parts. TikTok has some censorship filters in place to avoid some of these more mature words and subjects.

The problem is it can’t censor euphemisms. For example, the mascara trend started with people talking about how good their mascara was, how they’d never use another, or how it was a “problem.”

It took some dark turns, taking on some difficult subjects like violence, abuse, and other mature topics. Many users who weren’t “in the know” were confused about the “makeup videos” that had nothing to do with makeup.

So where’s the lesson in this? It’s hard to anticipate which words you need to help your child avoid on social media like TikTok.

Obviously, few of us would have seen the word “mascara” as inappropriate for teens.

The takeaway is this: TikTok users often find ways to talk about big topics by using codes and euphemisms, meaning any seemingly mundane trending word or theme may be inappropriate for your kids.

Any word could have another meaning.

Stay involved in looking at what your kids are following on social media. Ask lots of questions and keep communication lines open.