The TikTok algorithm has an uncanny ability to show us content that nails what’s happening in our lives, including who we’re dating. That's what happened to several women who realized through other TikToks that they had been chatting with or dating the same person: a 25-year-old mustachioed guy named Caleb who claimed to be a designer for the furniture company West Elm. #WestElmCaleb became a trending hashtag, and what started as lamenting the NYC dating scene quickly snowballed into folks doxxing Caleb and contacting West Elm to have him fired.
Some brands joked about the drama, despite the real Caleb not sharing his side of these stories. But Ruggable seemed to have a change of heart, taking down its original TikTok, which said, “These rugs weren’t designed by West Elm Caleb.” But some brands are sticking to their responses, like dating app Keepler, which posted a mockup of an out-of-home ad that read, “Red Flags: 6’4, mustache, furniture designer.”