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Doctors and the Internet step in against the dangerous #CrateChallenge

American rapper Blueface takes on the Crate Challenge   | Photo Credit: Blueface / Instagram

Who knew ascending a stair-like stack of milk crates would be life-threatening? According to the Internet and doctors: do not do it. It is not the daring nature of creative structure of the challenge that has enthralled netizens but the inevitable – and painful-looking – wipeout that earns the video creators hundreds of likes and countless comments.

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Garnering millions of views, the #MilkCrateChallenge or #CrateChallenge picked up fuel on August 1, when a two men shared a video of themselves trying it out. The risk factor comes from the fact that the crates are arranged in single stacks with no surrounding support, so the crates shake and give when someone climbs them.

Since then, social media has been brimming with videos of people trying the same, particularly in the United States and in the United Kingdom, and most of them tumble painfully to the ground or on top the crates. Celebrities have also attempted the challenge; rapper Blueface conquered it and celebrated with a backflip. But not everyone is so lucky; in one instance, a woman in Dallas, Texas, injured herself doing the challenge but ‘fake news pundits’ spread the word that she had passed away.

Orthopaedic doctors and sports medicine doctors around the world have urged netizens to steer clear of the Crate Challenge as it could lead to a concussion, broken or fractured bones (ribs, femurs, humeruses) or torn tendons and muscles.

TikTok steps in

The Crate Challenge has proven to be so dangerous to users that TikTok has pulled videos of the challenge and users of the short video platform are blocked from searching the term ‘crate challenge’. Users are also blocked from using the associated hashtags. TikTok states it “prohibits content that promotes or glorifies dangerous acts, and we remove videos and redirect searches to our community guidelines to discourage such content.”

In India, where TikTok is banned, Instagram is seeing a rising number of Crate Challenge posts; the hashtag #CrateChallenge has around 52,900 posts while #MilkCrateChallenge has roughly 11,000 posts. The growth has led to a groundswell of Crate Challenge dedication accounts such as @cratesquad which has garnered more than 40,000 followers.

The Hindu reached out to Instagram to comment on whether or not they would be taking similar actions against the Crate Challenge, but the Facebook-owned company declined to comment.

It looks like the Crate Challenge has already joined the ranks of other controversial Internet challenges such as the Cinnamon Challenge, the TidePod Challenge and the Benadryl Challenge, where social media rewards dangerous behaviour. Fast-paced one-click spaces like Instagram engender an environment of impulsiveness, showcasing many users' inability to gauge consequences for their actions in terms of what they post and the content with which they interact.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 5:59:53 AM |

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