I have been posting some TikToks on EA-related topics, in a dark comedy style. Some have done well. A sampling is below. I'm curious if you think, as I do, that I have the rare ability to make EA concept accessible to a wider audience through ranty comedy on TikTok in particular.

I welcome your encouragement, suggestions, or heckles.

https://www.tiktok.com/@niktalksfast/video/7084843438713195822

https://www.tiktok.com/@niktalksfast/video/7085172981562871083

https://www.tiktok.com/@niktalksfast/video/7057584960282103086

https://www.tiktok.com/@niktalksfast/video/7039942137521392943 

https://www.tiktok.com/@niktalksfast/video/7041427061512080686 / https://www.tiktok.com/@niktalksfast/video/7041430313649687854 

 


 

11 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 9:18 AM
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Not sure on the post title: I assume that it's humour, but we don't want anyone to get the wrong impression. With that said, I just watched the first video, and I really liked it! It's a very engaging way of making an important point. Well done! 

I see a lot of unrealised value from disseminating key concepts and insights from within the EA movement without actually referencing the movement, so I would generally encourage this sort of thing if it is done carefully.

Thanks for sharing this! A couple quick thoughts:
 

  1. One thing which I liked about Singer's original "famine, affluence, and morality" is that it included direct appeals for people to help. You start your first video off by saying that you are trying to get people to care about the developing world, which is great, but I think it would be cool if you did even more to signal "this is not an edgelord thought experiment but something which should actually change your behavior." One concrete thing is to include a donation button in the video (I think you have enough followers to do this).
    1. A side benefit of this is you can more clearly measure if you are having an impact – my estimate of how useful these videos are would update pretty heavily based on information about how many viewers actually donate versus just like and move on.
    2. I would say a similar but stronger thing about your animal testing one: my guess is that most of your viewers thought the message was "lol vegans are hypocrites" whereas I think you actually meant "lol omnivores are hypocrites." A frame like "I'm a vegan and…" might better communicate your message. (Though this would delay the joke by ~1 second, which might be costly. Hopefully you get the thing I'm pointing out here, even if this particular suggestion isn't good.)
  2. As others have remarked, it seems like a lot of the possible downsides could be mitigated by not tagging (or mentioning) EA.
  3. My guess (which you could maybe confirm with your analytics) is that whether or not someone watches is determined in the first few seconds. Your first video seems decent from this perspective (I like people who stick around because they want to see an argument for supporting the developing world) but the racism video seems worse (I'm not excited by people who stick around because they want to hear arguments for racism).[1]
  4. I generally like the approach of talking fast, and repurposing arguments which have proven effective in other media for TikTok. My guess (which it seems like you agree with based on your content) is that global health and development and animal welfare arguments are the best fit for this style.
  5. I liked the coffee one.

 

  1. ^

    I assume your theory behind the racism video is that it will attract contrarian thinkers, and contrarian thinkers are good in various ways. I'm kind of sympathetic to that, but expect that it mostly attracts people who are contrarian in ways that I'm not excited about, though I could be wrong.

I agree that the title could have used some work, but I thought that the videos themselves were quite good. Kudos on introducing such a large audience to EA concepts.

I'm not a TikToker and probably not the target audience, but I'll start by saying that the title of the post here gives some dubious vibes, which I get is probably the point but I'm still shaky on it being a good idea. 

It seems like the theory for impact/outreach in your TikTok videos is "target the niche of people who like this kind of humor, who haven't heard of EA, yet who also might be interested in learning more." I haven't watched all the videos, but I think it's important to emphasize that even if you are successful at achieving that goal, it might come at the cost of giving a bad impression to other people. Additionally, my impression is that when it comes to edgy humor, 1) it's important to have a bit of "in" with the audience (e.g., with friends or subscribers who know/expect your humor), 2) I think it increases risk of turnoff more than it increases the expected humor/attraction value: you have to really make sure the jokes don't fall flat or else they fall harder/weirder than non-edgy jokes.

Yes, the title was for effect, but what are we doing if not trying to convince people of this philosophy? Keep it to ourselves? The current discussion and literature feel academic and inaccessible. So, I'm going to keep pushing my provocative, gratuitously edgy stances on morality online, but I can leave EA's name out of it, as I gather my brand isn't on brand. I do appreciate your feedback.

Incidentally, I also publish my bits and essays morality on this website I made: https://www.urrong.com/?tags%5B%5D=9

I personally think the risks of these videos are relatively low because they do not mention EA. People who are convinced by the ideas in the jokes might start a google search and eventually find EA. Those that feel disgusted by the jokes might just think "what an idiot" and stop there. I doubt they would go on to search about what this is all about, find EA, and then try to act against that.

Several of the videos are tagged #effectivealtruism and the first video is currently the second highest video on the tag.

Nice videos. Well done.

I thought the first one was really good – very impressive!!

Congrats on your success!

I like some of the thoughts in the videos, and you do a really good job provoking people into thinking more and thinking out of the box. I am new to effective altruism, and I am only learning the things I can do. It’s cool that you use social media to spread the word because many more people will hear about this movement. I think you might use a service like https://enforcesocial.com/buy-tiktok-followers to get more followers to your account and make it more relevant to the algorithm. I know that many creators use it to boost their number of likes, comments, and followers. 

I love the talksfast approach for this content. I feel like you’re delivering as close to Forum-level density as you can in a short TikTok, which is very satisfying to my brain. Hats off!