TikTok does not take responsibility for the "Challenges"
The social platform TikTok has become immensely popular in a short time. The number of daily visitors reaches tens of millions and the number of downloads was in the billions. TikTok is the platform on which especially teenagers and adolescents post fun videos full of cheerful song and dance. The immense popularity of the platform also provokes less desirable behavior. Andy Warhol once said that every person in their lifetime is entitled to fifteen minutes of fame. Many young people think and hope by being active on TikTok to achieve this fifteen minutes of fame and preferably even more. They would prefer to achieve the status of influencer and thus earn a big living.
Anyone who wants to make a career on TikTok must therefore stand out from the millions of users. This leads to excesses which are almost unavoidable. This is certainly the case when the platform itself does little or nothing to contain the excesses. The so-called "challenges" are very popular. Users of TikTok are challenged to carry out certain assignments. That started a few years ago quietly and calmly, but now many challenges are downright dangerous and sometimes even life-threatening. That in itself is not surprising, because young people are unable to recognize dangers. Those who do, are often pressured by their peers to accept the challenge.
In a previous article, we paid attention to the so-called Benadryl challenge. Viewers are challenged to consume the largest possible doses of this anti-allergy drug. High doses cause hallucinations. That sounds like a lot of fun, but too high doses can also have life-threatening consequences such as cardiac arrest, seizures or even death. The noise surrounding the challenges has already led to the launch of the website www.tiktokdeath.com.
Concerned doctors, but also authorities, are increasingly worried about the excesses of these challenges and are increasingly calling on parents to take their responsibility and in any case to discuss these challenges with their children. Nothing can be expected from TikTok. The platform invariably states that it does not want the videos to cause personal harm or damage. But it ends there. It takes a long time for the relevant challenge to be removed.
What are the challenges at the moment that can cause physical harm and even more serious?
- 1. The breakfast cereal challenge: The principle is simple, someone gets breakfast cereal sprinkled in the back of their throat. Some milk is poured over it. Someone else has to spoon out the content. That is distasteful, but worse is that it can cause gagging and in the worst case, choking.
- 2. The Throw it in the Air Challenge: Again, the premise is simple. A group of three to 6 people forms a small circle. Everyone bows their head and objects are thrown into the air. No one should run away if the object is heading straight for him/her. That's okay if the object is a ball or a pillow. It becomes less fun if it is, for example, a suitcase or a ladder.
- 3. The skull cracker challenge: The name does not sound good. Someone is jumping in the air and their legs are kicked out from under, so they end up on the ground. The number of accidents that happen with this challenge is highly alarming. Participants sustained a concussion, broke bones and in some cases, it ends with paralysis.
- 4. The bright eye challenge: It can always be crazier. Put jelly, liquid soap, shaving cream and bleach in a bag and hold it against your eye for about an hour. Hold bleach to your eyeball. How do you come up with that!
- 5. The penny challenge: Put a coin in a socket to create a short circuit. That's crazy, but there have been cases of fire or electrocution of the victim.
- 6. The cha slide challenge: The driver does what a song tells him to do. If it is sung to go to the left, he does so immediately without regard to the traffic around him. This needs little explanation.
The moral of the story is that adolescents are insufficiently aware of the risks they run by taking on challenges. Moreover, they often have to deal with peer pressure to take up the challenge if they prefer not to. Little can be expected from TikTok. The company promises a lot, but in practice does little or nothing and does not take any responsibility. The app is too popular with the youthful audience!