Every fortnight TikTok, the video-sharing platform, manages to come up with a new challenge of sorts to keep its users glued to the app. However, this summer's viral TikTok challenge of stacking milk crates in a pyramid and trying to climb them like stairs has been banned on the app that helped give life to it.
Talking about the decision to ban the challenge, a spokesperson of the company said, "TikTok prohibits content that promotes or glorifies dangerous acts, and we remove videos and redirect searches to our Community Guidelines to discourage such content."
"We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off."
The challenge began with a basic concept, as do many viral online dares, with frequently amusing results: Someone constructs a stack of milk crates in a pyramid shape, then tries to step up one side and down the other without the boxes collapsing beneath them (but the crates always topple, and the person walking on them goes down with them).
The ban comes after several healthcare workers took to social media to voice their concerns about the trend and the danger it poses to those participating in it.
Currently, searching for the trend’s hashtag on the app shows a “no results found” notice.
"This phrase may be associated with behavior or content that violates our guidelines," the results said.
According to a local news report, people attempting the challenge are getting hurt. Metro Atlanta health worker reported seeing two cases Sunday of people breaking or fracturing bones when they fell while attempting the Milk Crate Challenge.
The reports prompted a Virginia orthopaedic surgeon to warn against the stunt at a time when emergency rooms and medical personnel are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
However, this is not the first time TikTok has come under criticism for promoting such dangerous challenges. In 2019, a popular “throw it in the air” trend involved TikTok users forming a circle where nobody is allowed to move and then putting a phone on the floor to record them throwing an item up in the air on top of themselves to see who the object hits on its way down.
Last year, a popular “skull-breaker” trend that went viral on the app prompted criminal charges after a teen was hospitalized as a result of the challenge. The trend involved tricking a person to fall backwards on their head.