As TikTok’s viral Milk Crate Challenge continues to create a rage online along with some raising concerns, the platform has come forward to show its disdain for the trend. Days after medical experts warned people about dangerous consequences from participating in the social media challenge, TikTok decided to remove videos that “glorify” the risky stunt.
The hot trend, which involves stacking of empty plastic crates into a pyramid, saw people climbing up and down it like stairs. However, with an unstable foundation and more crates into play, it often led to the structure’s collapse, resulting in some serious bone breaking falls.
After a video showed some dangerous falls, it raised serious concerns among health professionals. The platform too drew flak online for letting a potentially-deadly challenge snowball into a major trend. Many slammed the short-video platform for not doing much to stop the hazardous #cratechallenge that according to CNET, racked up more than 82 million views.
— Renard Smith Sr. (@SmittySpreadLuv) August 23, 2021
“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,” TikTok said in a statement to Fast Company reacting to the backlash.
According to The Independent, on Wednesday TikTok even removed the hashtag from the platform. It reported that anyone searching #milkcratechallenge was greeted with a message: “This phrase may be associated with behaviour or content that violates our guidelines. Promoting a safe and positive experience is TikTok’s top priority.” The same applied to related hashtags like #milkcrate and #cratechallenge.
As the challenge took social media by storm, doctors and nurses advised people not to take up the risky challenge and highlighted that such falls could lead to serious emergency surgeries and fatal injuries.
— Nurse Alves (@NurseAlves) August 25, 2021
“It’s perhaps even worse than falling from a ladder,” Shawn Anthony, an orthopaedic surgeon, told The Washington Post. “It’s very difficult to brace yourself from the falls I’ve seen in these videos. They’re putting their joints at an even higher risk for injury,” he added.
After comedian Conan O’Brien joked how he needed approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before attempting the challenge, the latter replied on a lighter note.
Although we regulate milk, we can’t recommend you try that. Perhaps enjoy a nice glass of 2% and return all those crates to the grocery store?
— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) August 23, 2021
Different health departments too urged people not to join the perilous challenge highlighting that hospital workers are already overworked with the rising Covid-19 cases owing to the Delta variant. Even police departments joined the appeal.
We are grateful our District One neighbors decided to dismantle their #MilkCrateChallenge
What could possibly go wrong when you step on wobbly, plastic crates stacked on top of each other?! Please think twice before taking part in this internet craze. pic.twitter.com/q38RI3l4xl
— Cincinnati Police Department (@CincyPD) August 25, 2021
With COVID-19 hospitalizations rising around the country, please check with your local hospital to see if they have a bed available for you, before attempting the #milkcratechallenge. 🤕🏥 https://t.co/wsVliFp5bg
— B’more City Health (@BMore_Healthy) August 23, 2021
And as a safer extension of crate memes took over, even celebrities like Mark Ruffalo, tried to engage people with a GIF of his character Hulk asking not to join the challenge.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) August 23, 2021
Time and again, virtual challenges have taken a risky turn, raising alarm among public and health experts. From 2017’s Tide pods challenge and Drake’s Kiki challenge in 2018 to 2019’s Bird Box challenge to TikTok’s Benadryl Challenge in 2020, numerous dangerous activities have taken social media by storm and this is no exception.