Welcome to Prison TikTok or Prison Tok! On the Chinese-owned social network, many spheres of influence coexist and now prisoners are part of the scene. Several videos of users cooking in their cells have gone viral on the platform. The key theme for many of these videos is resourcefulness, in every respect.
His first video dates back to just July 3, 2021 and already counts more than 36,500 views on TikTok, his lowest total. With his 23 videos, the French-speaking user who goes by the well-chosen pseudonym, "ScoField" aka @skofield91 , an undisguised reference to Michael Scofield's character in "Prison Break," is nothing short of a sensation on TikTok. One of his videos has even reached more than 806,000 views, and none have less than 35,000.
So what's behind this stunning success? Easy and budget-friendly recipes. His most-watched video is the recipe for tiramisu revisited with the most accessible ingredients: small dry cookies for the bottom, a little Nutella and a preparation based on fresh cream. While purists may take offense, the video has collected many comments praising the resourcefulness of the user, who puts together an electric mixer with a fan and a whisk. And there's a reason behind this inventiveness! That's because it's within his tiny cell that "skofield91" is demonstrating what's possible to "cook" in prison, if a person has access to a few ingredients. The world of "Food Tok" is one of the most popular universes on TikTok and often launches food trends that extend beyond the social network.
While using a cell phone is normally forbidden in prison, this TikToker obviously doesn't fear any repercussions and freely films himself, face uncovered, as well as the inside of his cell, although he never refers to the reasons for his imprisonment nor his location. However, it's possible that the prisoner has lost certain privileges since as of August 24 , the videos of "skofield91" are no longer visible. The page still displays the 20,800 subscribers and the 372,400 "Likes" accumulated via all his former videos published on the platform. His biography also indicates his pseudonym on Snapchat. A detail often added in the profiles of users on TikTok. Impossible to know why the prisoner cook decided to delete all his content and not his account. Is he already planning some future videos?
A worldwide phenomenon
While this offbeat story may make you smile, it is not a one-off but part of a larger phenomenon worldwide. At the end of July, the editorial staff of France 24 Observateurs shared the story of Jeron Combs, a 31-year-old man sentenced to 70 years in prison for murder, who is also a star on TikTok. Unlike the French prisoner, the American's TikTok account, @blockbyjmoney , is still active and has 332,500 followers and more than 3.2 million cumulative "Likes." Fame on which Jeron Combs intends to capitalize by making his pseudonyms available on Cashapp and Venmo, two applications widely used in the United States to send money to someone.
Over on Twitter, many users are talking about these videos posted prisoners, which is not surprising since the hashtags #prisontiktok and #prisontok have 1.5 billion and 801.2 million views respectively on the Chinese social network.