Here's Why People Are Throwing up Red Flags About the Gingerbread Nails Filter on TikTok

The gingerbread nails filter is definitely NSFW.


Jun. 26 2024, Published 10:28 a.m. ET

A broken gingerbread man looking shocked on a cooking sheet.
Source: Getty Images

Like the videos themselves, filters on TikTok come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. For the most part, these filters are harmless, and they can even be a fun way to spice up videos or create something unique.

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Some of the filters on the app, though, are actively harmful, especially for the app's younger users. The latest filter to have people sending up warning signs is called the gingerbread nails filter. Here's why users on the app are encouraging one another to report those who use it.

A TikTok app on a phone.
Source: Getty Images
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What is the gingerbread nails filter on TikTok?

The gingerbread filter may seem like any other. When you first pull it up, you'll see an icon of a gingerbread man. If you wait long enough, though, you'll find that a man's hand begins to appear, and eventually, his penis.

As a result, people are posting about the filter without using it, warning one another to keep it out of reach of their kids and to flag the filter for TikTok whenever they see it on a video.

Because filters can be created by anyone, these kinds of problems do crop up on TikTok. The app's censors are usually pretty good about filtering out explicit content, but creative filters can sometimes get around these things, at least temporarily. It seems unlikely that this filter will survive on TikTok indefinitely, but while it does, it's good for everyone to be aware as to exactly what it represents.

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Even though people are warning users about the Gingerbread Nails Filter, some TikTok users can't help but be curious.

Of course, the reason some filters like this wind up becoming popular is that for every user who is repulsed by these filters, there are those who think they might be either "funny" or are at least curious to see them themselves. That curiosity is often a morbid one, but it nonetheless drives people to use the filter even though that's really not what TikTok is for at all.

Source: TikTok/@randelladuh
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It's unclear whether the person who made this filter did it as a joke or for a more sinister reason, but either way, it's undoubtedly not the appropriate venue for such explicit content. TikTok is famously an app widely used by people under 18, and laws against CSAM exist for a reason.

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Upon learning of the app, some users expressed disappointment that TikTok's censors didn't automatically detect that there was explicit content in it and take it down.

"The sad part is that as soon as it was uploaded TikTok should have removed it ASAP. Smh. This is a kids' app," one person wrote in the comments under a video about the filter.

Hopefully, TikTok continues working to perfect its censors so that these kinds of filters don't slip through. While the gingerbread nails one may soon be gone, you should always be vigilant about the potential for filters to look like one thing, and actually be something much more sinister under the surface. The internet is a stupid, funny, but also often dangerous place.

Report online or in-person sexual abuse of a child or teen by calling the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 or visiting Learn more about the warning signs of child abuse at

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