The new ‘27 August’ TikTok trend is confusing users - here’s what it means
TikTok - where short dance, lip-sync, comedy and talent videos reign supreme - is a potent breeding ground for trends, challenges and memes.
It seems that every week, something new (and confusing for older internet users not au fait with the workings of the social network) is doing the rounds.
But the latest is confounding even avid TikTokkers, and revolves around a mysterious date - 27 August.
In recent days, multiple videos have sprung up on the site referencing the date. So what does it all mean?
What does it all mean?
Simply put, the 27 August videos probably don’t mean anything.
Most of the videos are accompanied by creepy soundtracks or visuals, suggesting something sinister could be about to happen at the end of August.
But in reality, nothing will happen - the 27 August ‘trend’ appears to be a bit of a joke that’s been picked up by TikTok users.
One of the first videos to really get noticed (it looks as if others had come before, but this was the first one that really went ‘viral’) came from user stfusamantha.
Despite the video itself explaining that anyone who sees it has been "chosen" and should remember 27 August, in the clip’s comment section stfusamantha reveals she just wanted to make “a weird video”.
"The fact that people actually think I know what’s going to happen in a month is ridiculous,” she says.
"Come on now y’all.”
What will happen on 27 August?
But, as is often the way on TikTok, what started as a joke has blossomed into a sensation in its own right, and now multiple users are posting clips claiming to know the secret of the mysterious date.
Some have even gone so far as to promise their own special events and prize giveaways, essentially giving some meaning to a date that originally had none. The date could even become a kind of ‘TikTok holiday’ of sorts.
How is it linked to Donald Trump?
The New York Times’ Taylor Lorenz clarifies that the whole thing “started as a joke”, but became a trend “because mysterious stuff goes viral”, and now, users are scrambling to attach their own meaning to it.
One fan theory suggests the 27 August trend could be a subtle call to arms for protestors looking to disrupt President Trump’s re-election campaign.
After all, 27 August is the final date of the Republican National Convention, and the anniversary of Ax Handle Saturday - a racially motivated attack that took place in Jacksonville, Florida. The incident saw a group of white men attack African Americans engaging in sit-in protests opposing racial segregation.
Could stfusamantha’s original post be a call for protests and other action on a date which could be seen as extremely symbolic?
Is TikTok safe?
The app is currently being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the US Justice Department amid allegations it had breached a 2019 agreement aimed at protecting children’s privacy.
US Secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said on 6 July that the Trump administration was “looking at” banning Chinese apps, such as TikTok, after suggesting it shared information with the Chinese government.
Trump’s issues with the app could be tied to reports that a social media campaign by TikTok users was behind the lower-than-expected turnout for the President’s much-hyped Oklahoma rally in June.
Teenagers are said to have booked tickets without intending to turn up so as to produce empty seats.