FRAMINGHAM, MA -- Online "challenges" where social media users challenge others to perform some task and share the video under a common hashtag have the ability to go viral and spread very quickly.
Some challenges are for fun or to do good; like the "Ice Bucket Challenge" which was used to raise awareness and money by The ALS Association. During the past few weeks, (August 2021), videos of people taking the "Milk Crate Challenge", went viral on TikTok using the hashtag #milkcratechallenge.
The challenge is (was) to walk up one side then down the other side of a line of milk crates stacked to make "steps" that rise seven crates high in the middle.
Emergency Rooms across the country are seeing trauma patients with broken arms, legs, necks and backs, facial injuries and all types of soft tissue injuries in those who failed at the challenge.
TikTok has removed the content and shutdown the hashtag under their "Suicide, self-harm, and dangerous acts" clause of the TikTok Community Guidelines. In-part, the guideline says, "We define risky activities or other dangerous behavior as acts conducted in a non-professional context or without the necessary skills and safety precautions that may lead to serious injury or death for the user or the public."
TikTok does not allow content that "depicts, promotes, normalizes, or glorifies such behavior, including amateur stunts or dangerous challenges."
As with just about everything else on the internet -- it's very hard to remove content once it goes viral. The hashtag #milkcratechallenge and searches fot "Milk Crate Challenge" display results on Twitter and YouTube -- with videos, compilations, meme's and screen shots of people taking the challenge.
While the majority of videos of people attempting it end in what appears to be painful failure -- a few rose above and beat the challenge including a woman in high heels and a new internet star -- a toddler with crates stacked only one and two high which she scales like an olympian.