I’m sorry but the internet is at it again. The real reason OnlyFans users are posting unsolvable riddles on TikTok

The internet has been at it again. The lucrative sliver of Venn diagram between OnlyFans and TikTok has figured out that posting nonsense pseudo-riddles is a great way of amplifying engagement. Now there are loads of them, including the one explained below.

As I bravely reported a few weeks ago, a (presumably) 26-year-old nursing assistant produced a particularly fun example of this trend, which became known as The Riddle of the Nurning Annintant.

Her cryptic message  – “Imagine how good your life would be if you had a 26yo nursing assistant by your side, now replace S with N” – had internet sleuths and comics ironically trying to solve the inherently unsolvable puddle of word soup.

Even when the original author, @Thisis_Bex, insisted the post was “meant to be a brain stump,” the internet refused to believe her. 

But the popularity of the viral post has led to a wave of imitators, the latest of which comes from fellow OnlyFans user @cal_gif, who has more than 90,000 Twitter followers and claims to be in the top 0.01% OnlyFans accounts.

Her TikTok post reads: “let’s go swimming and get sushi after… Now replace the s with an m”.

Now, you could analyse the phrasing searching for meaning where there is none – what does she mean “the” s when there are three?; does the word “an” suggest you should only replace one “m”? – but it’s a futile task.

The real reason so many people are making posts like these is because they think they have worked out a way to game the TikTok algorithm, thereby increasing potential traffic to their monetised OnlyFans accounts.

The puzzle format suggests a solution – like a cryptic crossoword – so curious readers watch the 15-second video, fail to work it out, and then watch it another three or four times before giving up. This repeat viewing makes TikTok think the content is great, so it serves it up to more people, who then try and fail to work out what on earth Cal_Gif is going on about, creating a kind of viral snowball.

Eventually the more interesting-looking ones get picked up by Reddit users, sending the post into the online stratosphere.

But while the 26yo Nursing Assistant managed to somehow transcend the format, I would like to the internet as a whole  now reverse out of this intellectual cul de sac once and for all.