2023: A Year of Dangerous TikTok Trends and Tragic Consequences
The year 2023 was marred by a disturbing assortment of dangerous trends on the popular social media platform, TikTok, which drew serious concerns for public safety worldwide. The platform, which had already weathered numerous political and regulatory storms, found itself in the middle of yet another maelstrom.
WhipTok and Deathly Consequences
The hazardous trend known as ‘WhipTok’ or ‘chroming’ involved the inhalation of aerosol deodorant fumes, a practice that tragically led to the death of a 13-year-old girl in Australia. The trend, which accumulated a staggering 546.3 million views, was a stark reminder of the real-world impacts of these perilous viral challenges.
Angel of Death Challenge and Indonesian Tragedy
Indonesia was rocked by the ‘Angel of Death’ challenge, a senseless act of jumping in front of moving trucks. This lethal game resulted in at least two fatalities, prompting the local authorities to intervene and implore people to refrain from participating in such life-threatening stunts.
Benadryl Challenge and the Perils of Misuse
In a shocking twist, the misuse of a common antihistamine, Benadryl, for its hallucinogenic effects resulted in the death of a 15-year-old in Oklahoma. Known as the Benadryl Challenge, the trend led to stern warnings from Johnson & Johnson and the FDA about the severe risks linked with the misuse of Benadryl.
Unhealthy Consumption of Household Products
Equally dangerous was the consumption of laundry products like Borax, purportedly as a health remedy. This dangerous practice led to numerous hospitalizations and even fatalities, highlighting the urgent need for tighter content moderation on such platforms.
Passout Challenge, Dragon’s Breath, and Skull Breaker
Other hazardous trends like the ‘passout challenge’, ‘Dragon’s Breath’, and ‘Skull Breaker Challenge’ have resulted in injuries, hospitalizations, and even deaths. From self-induced choking in the ‘passout challenge’ to eating candy coated in liquid nitrogen in the ‘Dragon’s Breath’ challenge, to causing someone to fall while jumping in the ‘Skull Breaker Challenge’, these trends underscore the urgent need for stronger safety protocols on social media platforms.
As we move into 2024, it is crucial for platforms like TikTok to increase their vigilance and commitment to user safety. The company has urged users to prioritize safety and avoid engaging in these dangerous activities, but it remains to be seen how effective these pleas will be in curbing such dangerous trends.