TikTok turned his song into a creepy meme — until fans took it back

For years, Absofacto ’ s “ Dissolve ” has been a fastness on TikTok — specifically the first few seconds of the chorus, a truancy rising vocal line singing the words, “ I fair wanted you to watch me dissolve … ” The song never broke a big as “ Old Town Road ” or “ The Box, ” but TikTok fame has given it millions of streaming plays and even a minor chart breakthrough in 2019, a wax four years after it was released .
But last weekend, Jonathan Visger ( who records under the Absofacto name ) got some alarming news from his followers. “ I started getting messages from people that were survivors of childhood sexual abuse, ” says Visger. “ They told me there were videos on TikTok using my sung that were highly overturn to them. ”
“ The stress credibly took a year off my liveliness, but it was worth it ”
The messages were about an faze meme that had grown up around Visger ’ sulfur song. Described as “ dad daughter POV ” video, the video recording prove young users making lineal eye contact with the viewer, setting a setting of a daughter by chance walking in on her forefather. The lighter instances of the meme were entirely vaguely creepy, but others seemed to be square references to incest and sexual abuse. none were denotative enough to trigger easing, but they were inactive profoundly disturbing. For longtime fans, it was jarring to see it soundtracked by a sung they loved.

“ I credibly wouldn ’ t have understood the meaning behind this course, if the people who had been affected hadn ’ thymine told me about it and asked me to do something, ” Visger says. “ This is chartless district for me. ”
The leave has been an strange battle to reclaim “ Dissolve. ” Unlike most message fights, this one has largely taken place among users, avoiding top-down moderation in favor of aggregate action within the foreign ecosystem of TikTok. But for Visger and other musicians who have used the platform to reach a new audience, it ’ s an despicable reminder of how small dominance there is over how a sung is used, and how hard it can be to take back your work.

From the begin, Visger seemed to be fighting an uphill conflict against TikTok ’ s algorithm. Users who register likes on a batch of “ Dissolve ” memes are probable to be shown more of them, which means the users who already had an attachment to Visger ’ randomness song were the ones most likely to see the faze meme. And because recommendation algorithms tend to surface content that gets a lot of reactions — whether it ’ s likes, comments or TikTok duets — the controversy around the video recording may have lone promoted them more .
Visger ’ s beginning reaction was a TikTok post, calling on fans to take back the song and beat back the “ arrant dad POV vogue, ” as he called it. “ This song means a distribute to me, ” he wrote in a caption. “ Please save it from being associated with this dad play acting thing. ” The mail brought in half a million likes, and launched a wave of countermemes under the lapp audio tag, a slowed down translation of Dissolve ’ mho familiar overcharge. One democratic user posted a POV video recording with the subtitle “ I ’ m your cool aunt looking at a word picture you just colored with your other aunt after I get back from burying your creepy pedophilic dad in the woods, ” which spun off an entire wave of answer video. In another answer, a gay pair poses with their baby child under the caption “ POV : you got taken away from your creepy dad and adopted by a lesbian enchantress family. ”

Along the room, many of the users behind the original daddy-daughter meme have gotten the message. many have taken down their posts, sometimes posting apologies alongside them. ( Visger duetted one on Friday, trying to boost the message. ) After end week ’ south flood, the memes are now difficult to find on TikTok, and far less likely to pop into the pivotal For You page .
hush, the experience has left Visger unsettled, and with a radically new position on what it means to be a popular artist on TikTok. He ’ second decided that, at least for a while, he ’ ll dedicate his TikTok account to spreading awareness about child sexual pervert, hoping to comfort survivors and turn the experience into something more positive .
“ I ’ m so happy I spoke astir and I ’ m sol grateful to the CSA survivors who put it on my radar, ” he says. “ The stress probably took a year off my liveliness, but it was worth it. ”

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