TikTok’s TattooGate, complaints online and why we need to be heard

She just wanted a tattoo of her favorite animal.

Ontario-based Courtney Monteith reached out to a tattoo artist she admired about getting a design on her arm of a fox surrounded by flowers. Suddenly, she was out a few thousand dollars with no tattoo. She posted the drama on TikTok and has since amassed millions of views and thousands of comments from those who agree she was wronged.

The internet, and especially TikTok in recent years, has taken venting to the next level. When we feel we’ve been given the short end of the stick, we seek out those who will tell us we’re right, experts explain, and in viral videos, people are able to find thousands of people who will agree with them. Those following what has been dubbed #TattooGate are enthralled by the drama in part because humans are hardwired to be social and take sides depending on who they most identify with. 

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