Mexican Drug Cartels Are Using TikTok for Self-Promotion

In the event you’ve ever puzzled what somebody with a bulletproof vest and an AR-15 would seem like flossing — the dance, not the strategy of dental hygiene — apparently the reply to that query may be discovered on TikTok. Sadly, it’s not as part of some absurdist sketch comedy or surreal video artwork set up. As a substitute, it’s a part of a rising pattern of drug cartels in Mexico utilizing TikTok as, for all intents and functions, a advertising instrument.

In a new article for The New York Times, Oscar Lopez explores the phenomenon of “Cartel TikTok,” which specialists described to him as “the newest propaganda marketing campaign designed to masks the blood tub and use the promise of infinite wealth to draw expendable younger recruits.”

This isn’t a model new phenomenon, however it’s one which many residents of america have change into extra conscious of in latest months, as a consequence of a video of a ship chase going viral. As Lopez explains, TikTok customers who preferred this video quickly discovered themselves seeing increasingly cartel-related content material. It’s a very unsettling utility of the algorithm in motion, and it’s one which has accelerated a variety of instances since then.

The controversy over the ethics of watching these movies seems like the subsequent iteration of the debates over listening to narcocorridos a couple of years in the past. For some viewers, Cartel TikTok can present a captivating window into organized crime; for others, it might probably have a normalizing impact on the habits of violent underworld organizations. For all of the methods by which TikTok has been within the highlight this yr, this is perhaps each probably the most surreal and probably the most worrying.

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