Influencer Bethenny Frankel Demands TikTok Crack Down on Counterfeit Content Reality TV star and social media influencer Bethenny Frankel has filed a lawsuit against TikTok, claiming that the company did not take measures against fake ads using Frankel’s image.
By Main Street Sentinel Staff
Bethenny Frankel began receiving messages from her 990,000 TikTok followers on September 16. They had questions about an ad in which Frankel appeared to promote a cardigan that was a cheaper version of a designer item.
But Frankel had never agreed to do this promotion: the ad was one of a series of fake ads using her image that Frankel says proliferate on the social media platform. She has now filed a lawsuit against TikTok in an attempt to address the problem.
According to TikTok, users have several ways to “flag content that violates the platform’s guidelines.” However, about 20 percent of flagged videos remain on the site. And the protocols for review and removal are unclear. When Frankel posted a video to warn her followers about the cardigan she hadn’t agreed to endorse, it was her warning video that was taken down “within minutes,” she said.
As the influencer industry grows—the market is projected to expand throughout 2030—the lack of clarity regarding policing of content is also generating concern in Washington. The recently introduced “Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers (INFORM Consumers) Act would require online platforms to collect, verify and disclose certain information from third-party sellers.”
Frankel hopes that her fame will help draw attention to the issue of fakes. “Influencers should be able to work with the platforms to ensure they retain control over their image,” she said.