When the defamation trial of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp began, it was clear to many that this would be big news to many, as they are two big celebrities and opinion has gone back and forth since the beginning of the allegations. But now, many are witnessing how media is interpreting it, most importantly TikTok. It seems that the app has been creating odd responses that we have not seen before in other trials, with people using the trial for memes and a thing to debate, which many believe are trivializing the trial. For example, some people have edited the footage from the trial, with some of these videos having millions of likes. Some thought of this as odd but was not the only thing to come from TikTok.
In another video, a TikToker was at a concert where someone showed a photo of Amber Heard, which many booed upon seeing, and cheered when the photo switched to a photo of Johnny Depp. Although some were happy to see that the crowd was team Depp, others found this an odd thing to do and are not something that has been done in previous trials. So, many are wondering if it is the app that is curating these responses or the trial itself?
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In another viral video, with over 200 thousand likes, a Starbucks had competing tip jars, with one for Heard and another for Depp. Many found this inappropriate, as it was using a defamation trial surrounding domestic abuse to promote tips. One person wrote, “I don’t know if this is awesome raising awareness for the situation or if it’s wrong for people to be making money off this situation.” Others did not see an issue with this, stating that they would happily put money into the tip jar to show support for Depp. In fact, in an update, the TikTokers return to give tips from people who sent money via Venmo to tip for them.
Although some find this an interesting way to respond to the trial, many pointed out that TikTok had a large role in helping solve Gabby Petito’s disappearance, by both spreading the message and prompting someone to find Petito’s van. So, some believe that this is just a new era from social media and it does not have to trivialize anything.