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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics


How TikTok's 'Couch guy' Video Spiraled out of Control and Became the Subject of Viral Cheating Speculation

Don Heider, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, quoted by Insider.

Heider said it's important to ask TikTok what its role is when this kind of content goes viral and leads to negative attention on a subject, and that the platform could consider further raising the hood on its algorithm or limiting the spread of viral content.

The video's massive virality, further expounded by parodies that turned a recorded moment between a couple into a meme format, leads to users treating it like "popular culture" and erases the "humanity" of its subjects, Heider told Insider. 

Don Heider, chief executive of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, quoted by Insider.