The Great TikTok Debate: Is the Bold Glamour Filter Really Powered by AI?

Zakhi Mgutshini
Mar 5, 2023

Lately, the Chinese-created social media platform TikTok has been facing a lot of scrutiny and backlash, with some countries moving to ban the app. Their latest “Bold Glamour” filter has been put under the microscope as most users say it creates a false image of them. Some even say it creates low self-esteem once they take it off and realize they look nothing like it. 

The Great TikTok Debate main

I don't know about you, but I really love TikTok because it entertains me while I relax. I've been scrolling through TikTok this week and saw a lot of people trying out the app's new filter, and I thought, let me do the same. It definitely creates a different you, which I felt even the most expensive makeup could never create.

Well, last month on the 22nd of February, TikTok rolled out a few AI tools for their filters, but the company refuses to confirm if that filter was “Bold Glamour. TikTok has ignored multiple emails from The Verge asking them to confirm if the filter was AI-generated. 

The Great TikTok Debate main

TikTok has announced that creators could now have some generative AI effects that change a user's facial features in real time. The new effects would include a lip-puckering effect,  an eyebrow eraser, and a smiling effect. TikTok promises that any generative effects will match the user's skin seamlessly. 

The outcome of Bold Glamour is considered impressive. Luke Hurd, an augmented reality consultant, couldn’t agree more as he mentions that the filter's effects are different from the common techniques. Memo Akten, an assistant professor of Computational Art and Design at UC San Diego Visual Arts, couldn't help but agree with how accurately the effect changes one's face. 

More than 9 million videos have been created using the filter, and users agree that it totally transforms your face in an impressive way. Users have noticed that the filter is different from what they’re used to.  Unlike the other filters that commonly create cartoon-like features on a user's face, the Bold Glamour modifications seem to move in line with the human face and even adjust when applied to a masculine face.


DON’T USE THIS FILTER ?? This is the viral filter everyone is using rn. Tell me honestly, have you ever not shown up irl because of how you’ve misrepresented yourself on social media? If so, you’re not alone ???? You deserve to live a full and happy life without worrying about how you look doing it ? #poresnotflaws #boldglamour #beautystandards #beautystandardsarefake #bodyimagemovement #bodyimagehealing #joannakenny #toxicbeautystandards #skinconfidence #skinconfident #nofilterchallenge #fyp2023

? original sound - made by Jo

Hurd also mentioned that this filter could be a result of machine learning technologies with particular reference to Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). Multiple filters on TikTok use this technology. 

Akten also mentions that the technology being used in the Bold Glamour filter isn't groundbreaking. He says the technology has been under development for a while. Akten  also mentions that what makes the filter impressive is the ability to bring the technology into mobile devices with minimal glitches. 

The Great TikTok Debate main

Burnham says this could be a breeding ground for body dysmorphia. He says it's scary how these filters can replace reality. The likes of Joanna Kenny also feel the filter totally creates a natural appearance of you that looks nothing like you. 

Studies by the University of London and the Cognitive Research journal reveal that these filters could be a breeding ground for mental issues. In 2021 the Wall Street Journal revealed that 1 in 3 girls feel bad about their bodies, and most teens that use the app have higher rates of depression and anxiety. 

Could AI replace reality? We’ll have to wait and see. 

Source: The Verge


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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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