On Monday, it appeared that Kendall Jenner had finally made a TikTok account. The account, @kendalljenner, was somehow still available and almost immediately verified. The user evidently used old videos from Jenner’s other social profiles to masquerade as the celebrity and the account was taken down within 24 hours, according to Business Insider. The incident casts some concern about TikTok’s ability to accurately verify accounts.
How did this happen? — It’s easy to see how even a giant like TikTok would clamor to verify a member of the Kardashian clan. After all, Kylie Jenner’s mere disdain for a Snapchat redesign sank Snap stock. Though it's the most divisive celebrity family of our time, the sheer power of the Kardashian-Jenners is undeniable.
After some old Instagram Stories were posted to the account with new audio, “an internal review” prompted TikTok to delete the account “as a precaution.” The handle is back online, but it doesn’t have verified status. Several other unverified profiles are also pretending to be Jenner’s official account, so it’s unclear how this one got past TikTok’s vague review process. The company hands out check marks instead of requesting applications and it’s not forthcoming with how it determines accounts are “authentic, unique, [and] active.”
If users can’t trust that notable accounts are who they say they are, this could spell trouble for TikTok which is already not the most trustworthy name in the U.S. right now. Vine successor Byte is ready to supply some fresh competition, though it’s dealing with inauthentic accounts of its own.