TikTok has banned the popular “milk crate challenge” from its platform due to concerns that users participating in the trend could be seriously injured. The challenge saw TikTok users stacking milk crates into a pyramid and then attempting to climb across the unstable structure.
A spokesperson from the company told TechCrunch in an email that “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.”
In most videos depicting the trend, TikTok users are seen tumbling to the ground as they try to climb up one side of the makeshift pyramid and down the other. 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.
Searching for the trend’s hashtag on the app now brings up a “no results found” notice. The search results page notifies users that “this phrase may be associated with behavior or content that violates our guidelines. Promoting a safe and positive experience is TikTok’s top priority.” However, some videos depicting the trend are still visible on the app if users search for incorrect spellings of keywords associated with the challenge, such as “milk craate” or “milk cratee.” It’s worth noting that although these videos don’t have a significant amount of views, they’ve still managed to slip through the cracks of the ban and remain on the app.
TikTok’s rise to popularity has seen numerous dangerous challenges go viral on the platform over the past few years. 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 backward on their head.
Dangerous trends like these, including the most recent milk crate challenge, have forced TikTok to take action to prevent its users from putting themselves in harmful situations.