- TikTok has banned a viral stunt called the “skull-breaker challenge” after teens experienced serious injuries.
- The stunt involves two people kicking the legs from underneath a third person as they all jump in the air, causing the person to fall over.
- US prosecutors reportedly charged two New Jersey teens with aggravated assault over the stunt, while there have been multiple reports of young people getting seriously injured from it.
- The app now displays text under the #skullbreakerchallenge hashtag reminding TikTok users not to engage in, or encourage, risky and potentially deadly behaviour.
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TikTok has cracked down on a new, dangerous viral stunt called the “skull-breaker challenge.”
The stunt involves two people kicking the legs from underneath a third, airborne person, causing them to fall over uncontrollably.
It involves two people standing either side of a third person and jumping several inches off the ground. The third person then follows suit, jumping several inches into the air. The two people alongside them then kicks their legs out from under them. The third person then falls flat and, as you can imagine, the result is pretty painful.
US prosecutors have reportedly charged two New Jersey teens with aggravated assault over the stunt.
There have also been multiple reports of young people getting seriously injured from it, including the 13-year-old boy injured by the New Jersey teens, and a teenage girl in the UK who suffered a severe spinal injury.
In a blog post first published late February, TikTok said it “doesn’t allow content that encourages or replicates dangerous challenges that might lead to injury” and encouraged users to report such content. The company said it would take down posts that try and replicate the dangerous stunt.
TikTok has added a warning message which is triggered by posts containing the hashtag #skullbreakerchallenge, as shown beneath a video below:
“It’s not funny – and since we remove that sort of content, it certainly won’t make you TikTok famous,” the firm wrote in its blogpost.
Many TikTok users have criticised the stunt.
Commenting on a video that condoned the stunt, one user wrote that “the guy who started this is out of his mind…,” while another described it as “a dumb challenge that will POSSIBLY cause u to pass on [sic].”
Other videos posted under the #skullbreakerchallenge hashtag feature nurses and firefighters discouraging others from participating in the stunt.
A TikTok spokesperson told Business Insider: “The safety and well-being of our users is a top priority at TikTok. As we make clear… we do not allow content that encourages, promotes, or glorifies dangerous challenges that might lead to injury. We also take further action where we see clear and serious risk resulting from content associated with a particular user-generated ‘challenge’.”