A man and his girlfriend were filmed by a total stranger while waiting in line for a roller coaster — and now people are demanding an end to filming others in public for TikTok clout.
It’s not the first time a victim of a viral TikTok video has called for an end to voyeuristic clout-chasing. Earlier this year, a woman created a false narrative around two strangers she filmed talking in a bar, all in the hopes of gaining views on TikTok — footage that went very viral, but not in the way she had hoped.
Now this trend of secretly filming random people in public — all for short-lived internet fame — is causing outrage online.
In Mat’s video, he responded to footage he had no idea was being recorded of him and his girlfriend at an amusement park — footage which had been captioned: “pov: there’s an embarrassing pda couple in front of you in line for the roller coaster ”
“This is me and my girlfriend in this video,” he stated, pointing to the footage. “We were minding our business. And I think it’s pretty, pretty weird that someone took the time out of their day to record what me and my girlfriend were doing.”
The TikToker responsible for the video, Madalynne (@liz.after.hrs), later deleted the video (and her entire account) after receiving viral backlash for filming the couple — but not before doubling down on her stance in the comments of her original video.
“If we’re talking about respect, maybe couples should respect the fact that children & families don’t want to see people acting like animals in public,” she wrote in response to a comment from TikTok user @thedevilsdaughterbri.
“You could have easily, politely, asked them to just mind what they were doing … Instead of just recording them and laughing at them and then using them … to get views,” @thedevilsdaughterbri responded in a video.
“And you know what you did was wrong because you obviously deleted it.”
‘People need to stop recording people’
Over 10,000 TikTokers responded to Mat’s video in the comments — and many condemned the act of filming strangers for clout.
“bloody hell, people should be able to go about their lives without worrying about being filmed,” commented @lynseygoo0.
“I went to the amusement park, and I told my bf not to hug on me, bc I didn’t want to chance being filmed. It’s sick that we get filmed by randoms…. You can’t do anything in public without having the chance you’d be filmed and on the internet. It’s so weird,” wrote @annoyedcat98.
“Honestly this is out of hand, people need to stop recording people. Shit is weird,” commented @tawneehead.
“Can people learn [to not] f*ckin record random people that they don’t even know???! It’s weird asf, and it just shows that they want clout,” wrote @yuh_zhimmy.
Is it illegal to film people in public without their consent?
According to legal practice site Sparks Law, the short answer is “no.”
“When you are in a public setting such as a concert, grocery store, a park, and many others, recordings are permitted. Once you leave your private property, you should not be expecting full privacy. Thus, recording in appropriate settings when in public is permitted,” they explained.
“However, even in public, there are certain places with expected levels of privacy where recording is not allowed, such as bathrooms and dressing rooms.”
However, Recording Law adds that legally obtained recordings are subject to legal restrictions, depending on how they’re used. “Using a recording for blackmail, harassment, or other illegal purposes could be a crime,” they explain.
“Additionally, publishing a recording might be subject to defamation, libel, or slander laws, or it could potentially violate a person’s right to publicity,” which gives an individual the exclusive right to license the use of their identity for commercial promotion.
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