Over the past year, two Quebecers, Florence-Olivia and Marie-Emmanuelle Genesse, started The.SisOfficial platform on both TikTok and Instagram, where they share information from their research on violence against women.
One of their TikTok videos, which showcased a hand gesture for individuals to use when they're experiencing violence at home, went viral and was shared with a caption saying, "This can save lives." And it turns out it did.
MTL Blog got the chance to speak with the creators of The.SisOffical platform on their background in research about violence against women and the importance of sharing different signals with the public. You can read our interview below.
What made you start The.SisOfficial account?
We started The.SisOfficial a bit more than a year ago, when Covid started and we were both at home because [our] school was now fully online. Flo is doing her Masters in Legal Philosophy (her area of research is sexual violence) at Johns Hopkins University and Emma is doing her Masters in Feminist Philosophy at Concordia University and her research focuses on domestic violence. We wanted to find a way to share our research with as many people as possible, but in a way that everyone would be able to understand and enjoy learning about these facts.
Sometimes, philosophy and research on violence against women can be difficult to understand, so we wanted to create a platform where people could go to get educated on these important issues, while not having to read hundreds of pages or research.
When we saw that some people were getting millions of views to dance on TikTok, we decided to combine our dance background (we danced semi-professionally for 18 years) with our research so that these millions of views could also help save lives and educate people.
We did not expect the platform to grow as much as it did, but we are so happy that our work can have an impact on women's lives. We have received many testimonies where young girls and women told us about their stories and that seeing our page has helped them in many ways.
We also receive messages from men saying they did not know they could be feminist as men and that we have helped them see that the word 'feminist' is not a bad word, but rather the basic notion that women should be treated as human too.
How did you learn about the hand signal? Why did you think it was important to share it?
As violence against women researchers, we are always on the lookout for signals, hand signs or new ways to incorporate in daily life safety tools to help women, so we were already aware of this hand signal for domestic abuse (which comes from the Canadian Women's Foundation).
For us, it is important to discuss violence against women as much as possible because it is very often taboo in society. To have a platform like we have with The.SisOfficial (350K followers on TikTok and almost 50K on Instagram) means that we have a duty to share these hand signals and safety tips for women, but also so that other people will recognize it and [be] able to help them, like with that happened in the US recently.
It was important for us to share it in a manner that was also like a real-life situation (we reenacted a FaceTime call) because since COVID-19, women are more than ever stuck at home with their abusers and FaceTimes are very often their only way to communicate with people outside their home.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Videos posted to Instagram and TikTok show someone recruiting Montreal metro riders to engage in Squid Game-like activities — minus the bloodshed.
The hit Netflix show follows a group of contestants competing for prize money in deadly versions of children's games. The main character, Gi-hun, joins the competition after a recruiter wearing a suit approaches him in the metro.
The Instagram and TikTok videos show a similarly-dressed individual engaging with STM riders and playing some of the games featured in the show.
Contacted by MTL Blog, the person behind the social media accounts declined to identify themselves but said they're developing more content for their channels.
They also said they've given prizes to some players in the form of $50 and $100 Amazon gift cards — much more modest than the ₩45,600,000,000 (about CA$48,021,177.60, according to Google) grand prize in the Netflix show.
"I'm doing these videos because I'm having a lot of fun creating unique experiences for people," the account owner told MTL Blog. "Seeing the enlightment on the face of the participants, the people around and the reactions from the videos make it all worthwhile!"
Do you ever see people walking around and wonder about their lives? What they're thinking? Where they're going? It's hard not to .
With this in mind, the student behind the Fake People of McGill (@fakepeopleofmcgill) TikTok account took it upon themselves to answer such questions about people they spot around campus — and their assumptions about these individuals are absolutely hilarious.
When asked why they decided to create this account, the McGill student told MTL Blog, "I kept seeing fake people accounts for other schools and I was searching for a McGill account but eventually I got tired of waiting and just decided to make one myself!"
The account, which amassed over 500,000 followers since its first video last December, is run by three senior citizen influencers and the Quebec government. It's part of a campaign to "encourage the youth" to get COVID-19 vaccines and it's making use of TikTok — or, as it's called in @restepepe's bio: "TicTac."