- Kendall Jenner appeared to have joined the viral video app TikTok on Monday, making her debut with a short video shot in a bathroom mirror.
- However, the account has since been removed. After Business Insider raised questions about whether the verified account was fake, TikTok released a statement saying it deleted the account “as a precaution.”
- The account for the 24-year-old Jenner, the third member of the Kardashian-Jenner family to join TikTok, racked up nearly half a million followers in just two hours of posting the video.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Less than 24 hours after Kendall Jenner made her much-anticipated debut on TikTok, the model’s account disappeared. Business Insider has since discovered that the verified account was likely a fake.
The account @kendalljenner – which TikTok gave a blue checkmark to verify its authenticity – attracted nearly a half-million followers in just two hours after it posted its first video. After scouring old social media posts by the real Kendall Jenner on Instagram, Business Insider found Wednesday that the TikTok account was a fake made by someone posing as the 24-year-old Jenner.
TikTok has since confirmed Business Insider’s investigation, saying it removed the account after “an internal review” questioned whether the account was legitimate.
“Within hours of verifying an account claiming to be Kendall Jenner, an internal review raised questions about the account’s authenticity, and TikTok immediately removed it as a precaution,” TikTok said in a statement to Business Insider.
Jenner’s account launched Monday, although it was gone less than 24 hours later. In the day that the account was active on TikTok, it posted two videos: one of Jenner standing in front of a bathroom mirror set to King Staccz’s “Pretty Face”, and a second, slow-motion clip of the model dancing behind a curtain of pink streamers overlaid with audio from “Safe Zone” by Lonr.
Business Insider found that neither of these videos are new pieces of content. Both videos have previously appeared on Jenner’s Instagram Stories, from two separate occasions in 2019. The video of Jenner posing in front of a bathroom mirror appeared on Jenner’s Stories back in October, and the second video was posted on Jenner’s Instagram Stories in June 2019.
It’s not entirely clear how the TikTok account, seemingly belonging to Jenner, was awarded a blue checkmark. According to TikTok’s website, TikTok accounts are awarded these coveted checkmarks only after TikTok has verified “the account belongs to the user it represents.” TikTok provides no further details about the steps it takes, or what information it asks of an account before awarding it a blue checkmark.
Representatives for Jenner have responded to Business Insider’s request for comment.
The implications of a platform giving legitimacy to a fake account are troubling. Parody and fan accounts for celebrities and public figures are abundant across social platforms, and a breakdown in the system could be cause for concern for the millions of users who rely on these verification systems to tell them who is real and not.
TikTok only arrived in the US a year and a half ago, but the short-form video platform has skyrocketed in popularity. The platform has been particularly popular among teens, who have shown up on it in droves to create and share videos ranging from lip syncing to comedic skits to viral challenges.
At 24, Jenner is the close in age to Generation Z, the audience for which TikTok has become a beloved platform. Jenner was the third member of the dynasty to join TikTok: Kourtney Kardashian joined in December 2019, and Mason Disick – Kourtney Kardashian’s 10-year-old son – appeared in videos on a since-deleted account.
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