One of TikTok’s latest trends is stirring up some confusion on the app, thanks to its similarities to an older, controversial TikTok craze.
The KAM 2020 trend
The original Kam trend started back in 2020 with a single upload. The trend can be traced back to a YouTube video from Jenny McDermott, whose Twitter bio used to describe her as a “secular humanist” and “trans loving feminist.” She is no longer active on social media.
McDermott sparked controversy after posting a video that initiated the original KAM trend. In this instance, KAM stood for “kill all men,” and came about in response to a clip in which she complained about “being a baby factory that produces more men, that in the future will subjugate me.”
The video was intended as satire, as McDermott explained in later videos. It is relatively clear in the video itself, a version of which was shared by Daily Mail, that she is playing an exaggerated version of a radical feminist. She calls for her viewers to “kill male babies” as well as “any man that you see, like, in the streets.”
McDermott’s video fostered immediate controversy, particularly after news spread that an 11-year-old boy attempted to kill himself in response to it. There are scattered, unsubstantiated reports regarding the youth’s alleged suicide attempt. Regardless of their accuracy, the rumors sparked immediate backlash. People began flagging McDermott’s videos for hate speech, and her accounts have since disappeared from numerous social media sites.
The trend didn’t entirely disappear when McDermott did, however. People continued to comment “KAM” on certain videos, and a few videos promoting the trend cropped up, prompting TikTok to respond. Now, if you search “kam” or “kam trend” on the app, you’ll simply be served up with a page noting that no results can be found because “this phrase may be associated with hateful behavior.”
These days, if you see someone discussing the Kam trend, they are probably talking about a completely different TikTok craze. The new version of the Kam trend is far more innocent, and simply features some of the app’s talented creators showing off their dance moves.
The new Kam trend
The new version of the Kam trend doesn’t share any common ground with the 2020 trend. The original Kam trend seems to have been effectively cleansed from TikTok, leaving plenty of space —but absolutely no search opportunity —for the new trend to step in.
Attempting to search for the Kam trend on TikTok will still see viewers coming up short, but that isn’t stopping creators from participating. The easiest location to find participating videos is on YouTube, or by searching for specific songs that commonly crop up in videos via the TikTok app.
Unlike the KAM 2020 trend, the new Kam trend is classic TikTok. It sees creators showing off their good looks and editing skills, as they start a video in one outfit — typically vibing to one of a handful of the trend’s most popular songs — before initiating a creative cut and changing into something else. It has all the ingredients of an instant viral TikTok hit: Hot people, dancing, and popular music.
The trend seems to be most popular among East Asian creators, all of whom have some serious transition skills. The majority of videos feature genuinely impressive editing skills, as creators dance their way from one outfit to the next. Some of TikTok’s most popular songs are soundtracking the trend, and it seems that no shortage of entries is submitted on the daily.
The new Kam trend is unlikely to fully take off, given its shared language with the controversial KAM 2020 trend. Videos labeled under Kam can’t be easily found on TikTok, meaning that — unless the trend shifts to identify differently — it will probably be short-lived.