How to watch TikTok without the 'For You' recommendations - Dexerto

How to watch TikTok without the ‘For You’ recommendations

Published: 2/Nov/2020 14:34

by Alice Hearing


TikTok’s algorithm is often scarily accurate to our interests. It’s like it can read our minds, and that also means it’s incredibly addictive, making it possible to scroll through for hours on end. 

Jokes are often made on the platform about how the algorithm works. TikTokers have made videos demonstrating how if you interact with a video on one theme, there are paths towards other sides of TikTok that you previously never knew about. The algorithm is expertly tailored to your political viewpoints, interests, nationality, and even sexuality.

But, have you ever wondered what the app’s home page would look like without the algorithm? It’s now possible to see a completely uncurated view of the app with a new tool created by tech-wizard Benjamin Grosser.

Benjamin has created an “automated confusion system” tool called Not For You. He says it is “designed to mislead TikTok’s video recommendation algorithm, making it possible to see how TikTok feels when it’s no longer made ‘for you.’”

Not For You by Benjamin Grosser
It is possible to see a running feed of the code as you use the tool

How does it work?

“Not For You” finds the other sides of TikTok you wouldn’t normally watch by clicking on videos and hashtags to find all the other nooks and crannies. Benjamin says the system is designed to “reveal those videos its content moderators suppress.”

He adds that its purpose is to make the app less addictive, and to “steer users away from feeling like the best path to platform success is through mimicry and conformity.”

“Not For You aims to defuse the filter bubbles produced by algorithmic feeds and the risks such feeds pose for targeted disinformation and voter manipulation.”

How to use the tool

  1. You can run the tool by downloading the browser extension on Firefox or Chrome for OS.
  2. Open up TikTok’s “For You” page on your browser, and the tool should automatically start once you begin watching videos. On Firefox you’ll need to enable media autoplay.
  3. The tool’s creator recommends creating a test account, warning that the app’s bot detectors could place your account in “TikTok Jail” for a matter of hours or days. He also suggests only running the extension for an hour or so a day
  4. To see how the tool works in real-time, you can watch the text reporting output, by opening a “console” using Option+⌘+K (use J for Chrome), or Shift+CTRL+J (on Windows/Linux)
  5. To stop the extension from running, close the tab with TikTok, or click the #nfy icon in the extensions area and switch the ‘Yes’ to ’No’ under ‘Confuse TikTok?’

Ben Grosser describes himself as an artist focusing on the cultural, social, and political effects of software. His other projects include “Instagram Demetricator” which hides every like, view and follower count on the platform, and “Go Rando” which changes every “like” you use on Facebook to a random reaction.


TikToker Sienna Mae slammed by fans for “privileged” trip to Hawaii

Published: 28/Nov/2020 22:54

by Charlotte Colombo


TikTok star Sienna Mae faced backlash from fans after she posted a TikTok of herself going on a spontaneous trip to Hawaii.

TikToker Sienna Mae found herself at the receiving end of criticism recently after she posted a TikTok implying that she had gone to Hawaii to surprise her boyfriend, fellow TikTok star Jack Wright.

In a video posted on her TikTok, she can be seen receiving a text from her boo, who was already in Hawaii, saying how he “wished [she] was here” before throwing clothes in a suitcase, driving to the airport and surprising Wright on a Hawaiian beach.


♬ Oh No – Kreepa

Due to the current health crisis, fans didn’t react well to Mae’s trip. Several TikTok users reminded Mae in the comments that “we are in a p*ndemic”, with one TikTok user quipping that they “can’t even go to the store” due to the current restrictions.

In response to the backlash, Mae commented on her original TikTok claiming that she flew to Hawaii for work and had tested negative prior to her arrival.

sienna mae tiktok comment
TikTok: Sienna Mae
Mae reassured fans that she had tested negative and was taking all the necessary precautions during her trip.

However, for fans on Twitter, this wasn’t good enough. One user said: “She’s privileged enough to have a job that she can comfortably work from home with and make thousands of dollars a DAY. Why exactly does she have to go to Hawaii?”

Meanwhile, another Twitter user cast doubt over Mae’s claims, joking: “Yeah right! I’d like to know what job lets you run off to Hawaii! How can I get hired there?”

Mae is yet to publicly comment further on this backlash.

Who is Sienna Mae?

Sienna Mae Gomez is a California-based TikTok star who has seen exponential growth in popularity during the late summer/early autumn of this year.

Although she is only sixteen years old, she has already grown a sizeable platform due to her entertaining dance videos and content advocating for body positivity. She currently has 10.7 million followers on TikTok and 1.3 million followers on Instagram.

While some TikTok stars gained their platform over time, Mae’s rise to TikTok stardom was fairly rapid, with TheNetline reporting that she gained 1.5 million TikTok followers in two weeks.

sienna mae photo
Instagram: Sienna Mae Gomez
Alongside her work as an influencer, Sienna Mae is also an outspoken advocate for body positivity.

Many would be intimidated by such a rapid rise to fame, but in an interview with The NetLine in September, Mae said: “I love it. I wouldn’t change it for the world. This is what I have been saying I’ve wanted to do ever since I came out of the womb. I’m really happy and I really am thankful for the support. I am ecstatic about my TikTok fame.”

Mae has been dating Jack Wright since October, with the two confirming their relationship with a kiss at Saddle Ranch on 12 October. She met Wright at the high school they both attend.