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

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Accounts “I expose” in Quebec schools: Anatomy of a TikTok phenomenon

From Ivory Coast to France, here's how the trend of TikTok “I exhibit” accounts has taken over Quebec high schools.

Some sixty TikTok accounts are participating in the “I expose” fashion, which targets high schools in Quebec.

“J 'exposing the biggest plow', 'I'm exposing the biggest cow', or even 'I'm exposing the most whore': students from dozens of high schools across Quebec are being 'exposed' anonymously on accounts TikTok in the past week, especially for bullying or harassing purposes.

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 are sometimes for supposedly positive reasons (I expose the most beautiful girl in school), they are more often the victims of disparaging, abusive or downright defamatory remarks.

These anonymous accounts usually bear the name jexpose, 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: that's because TikTok allows you to create and remix videos from the same sound, and it's often using these sounds that trends are born on the platform.

The Decryptorsfound 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 which sometimes accumulate hundreds of subscribers, presumably because the videos have been deleted.

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

A TikTok spokesperson has confirmed that several Accounts I expose were banned around July 25th. She could not say which accounts were in question and how many were affected.

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

< p class="e-p">Mediatizing to play on people's reputations or to confront them with standards specific to groups has been a phenomenon specific to the web for years, whether in the case of social mobilization or forms of sociability, supports the researcher. He draws a parallel with the Facebook “Spotted” 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 are the same age, interested in the same types of content and live in the same place, you will see similar content, which can overexpose certain trends. It can promote mimicry because we're going to have the impression that everyone does that, he analyzes.

TikTok is the most popular social network among young Quebecers.

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

It's a complex time, and navigating that complexity means making a lot of mistakes, says 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 do not laugh at us. These are protective mechanisms that can translate into problematic behaviors that can be amplified by social media.

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

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

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@biscotte_nrv … 😵‍💫 #pourtoi #fyp ♬ original sound – TEMPTATION_WILD ORLANE KEVIN🖤

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Around July 8, the trend takes off. Two French users publish videos on TikTok where they announce a new trend: girls must reveal (or 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 post 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 more than a million views.

The “j'poste” fashion spread on TikTok in France two weeks ago.

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

The I-post trend peaks between July 16 and July 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 a total of 25,000 videos on TikTok that include the Godo Godo soundtrack.

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@grc.oceane_

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♬ original sound – TEMPTATION_WILD ORLANE KEVIN🖤

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July 21, the trend sets in in Quebec. The jexposelafon account is created and publishes a first video, seeking to expose a teenager from the Odyssée Lafontaine secondary school, in Saguenay. Four other accounts I expose related 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.

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

A handful of these accounts have since been closed. It has not been known whether these have been removed by TikTok or their creators.

The most popular j'expose video 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 claims to expose the girl from [l'Odyssée Lafontaine Secondary School] who could get caught on boy's ass de lafon [sic] and includes a photo of a young teenage girl.

For comparison, this school had nearly 1,900 students during the school year 2018-2019. But we must qualify, underlines 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.

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