TikTokers Are Using This Soviet Identification Chart to Guess Their Ethnicities

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Apr. 27 2021, Updated 4:08 p.m. ET

Soviet-era Identification Chart trending on TikTok
Source: TikTok | Reddit

Influencers are constantly looking towards unlikely sources of entertainment for their next bit of content. Usually, all they need to find is an interesting tidbit of information that's obscure enough to grab people's attention and then weave that into some kind of viral sensation. It can be a challenge, personality test, or a blast from the past — like this Soviet-era Ethnic Identification Chart that's currently trending on TikTok.

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What is the Soviet Identification Chart on TikTok?

It's basically a face-identification chart that was developed by criminologists in the Soviet Union to identify individuals from the over one hundred separate ethnicities that resided under its flag. Different facial features were aggregated to create this chart, which excludes a lot of the different nationalities under the Iron Curtain.

So, TikTokers are utilizing the filter to try and nail down what they would have been identified as if they were living in the USSR in the 1960s. The videos referencing this chart typically start with people taking a snapshot of their face, then the filter works its magic and delineates what they would be identified as.

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soviet identification chart cover
Source: TikTok

Does the Soviet Identity Chart work on TikTok? Most people think it's a dud.

Tons of users have tried out the filter, but there is an overwhelming number of folks who aren't exactly impressed with the results. Some can't even be placed on the card despite multiple attempts.

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That's not to say that it never works, there are some people of European descent who claim that the filter is actually very accurate and was ultimately able to ascertain their ethnicity.

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So, how do you use the Soviet Identification Chart on TikTok? It's pretty straightforward.

OK, so you've had enough of seeing everybody else have fun with the filter and you want to try it out for yourself.

It's important to understand that this "filter" is basically just another way of using the "Shapeshifter" effect on TikTok.

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Here's what you need to do: 

  • Download a picture of the Soviet Identification Chart, here's a link to a hi-res one from Imgur.
  • Open your TikTok app.
  • Hit "Discover," then type "Shapeshifting" in the search bar.
  • Hit "Shapeshifting" under "Effects."
  • Record your video.
  • Then use the "Upload" option to upload the chart file you saved.
  • You're done!
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Technically, you can use the "Shapeshifter" effect with pretty much any photo. Have a picture of George Costanza from Seinfeld? Go nuts. Want to transmogrify yourself into a gila monster? You can do that too. 

The world's your oyster when it comes to the Shapeshifter effect. For now, it seems like people are really having a ball with a rudimentary tool that police authorities in the Soviet Union used to try and nail down suspects on the loose.

What do you think the next TikTok trend is going to be? I hope it's weird casseroles from the "Golden Era" of American homestyle cooking.

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