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Our online safety experts have recently been alerted to a harmful trend on popular social media platform TikTok. To help parents and carers, and safeguarding professionals best care for the young people in their lives, we have produced a digital threat assessment on the ‘Guess Who?’ trend.

This briefing document is available to download below. It will help you understand what this trend is, how it is harmful, and what you can do to respond.

Why are these apps so popular?

What is the ‘Guess Who?’ trend?

The trend involves young people creating anonymous profiles on TikTok, often including the name of their school or their year group. It is loosely based on the well-known game ‘Guess Who’ and features young people posting images as ‘clues’ to someone’s identity, typically through interests or personality traits, such as:

  • a picture of braces to indicate the person wears braces
  • the band logo of a favourite band
  • phrases used to describe known facts, like “owns a dog”, “teacher’s pet”, or “likes purple”
  • initials, year group, or names of close friends
  • partial or blurred pictures of the person

Once a ‘Guess Who’ post has been uploaded, users are invited to participate by guessing who the clues are referring to. They are then encouraged to provide suggestions for future videos.

While some of these posts have been light-hearted and friendly, there has been a recent rise in the number of harmful posts. These contain cyberbullying, racial slurs, and graphic sexual descriptions amongst other types of harmful online content.

Read our online safety briefing – Guess Who: The latest TikTok trend for details and advice.

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