TikTok, the beloved hub for creativity and entertainment, has witnessed a darker side with the emergence of dangerous challenges. While most trends are all about fun, a few have spiralled into controversy, prompting warnings from authorities. Here’s a rundown of the most controversial TikTok trends of 2023:
In March 2023, a 13-year-old girl in Australia tragically lost her life while participating in ‘chroming’—inhaling toxic fumes from aerosol deodorant. This dangerous trend has spread like wildfire on TikTok under the term ‘WhipTok,’ amassing a shocking 546.3 million views. The risks include a temporary high akin to alcohol but can lead to severe consequences such as heart attacks, seizures, and even permanent organ damage.
Angel of Death challenge
Originating in Indonesia, the ‘Angel of Death’ challenge involves teenagers risking their lives by jumping in front of moving trucks. Unfortunately, this deadly trend claimed lives, with at least two reported fatalities. Local authorities detained minors attempting similar dangerous acts, emphasizing the lethal consequences of this challenge.
The Benadryl challenge
The Benadryl Challenge involves taking an excessive dose of the antihistamine to induce hallucinations, a perilous practice that led to the death of a 15-year-old in Oklahoma. Johnson & Johnson and the FDA issued warnings against abusing Benadryl, citing serious health problems and fatalities. Participants risk experiencing hallucinations, seizures, and even falling into comas.
Eating laundry products
From Tide pods in 2017 to Borax in 2023, eating laundry products remains a perilous trend. Originating as a shocking health remedy, this dangerous practice has resulted in hospitalizations and deaths. Health workers were shocked as people sought to ease health issues by ingesting laundry detergents.
A bizarre culinary trend involves marinating chicken in NyQuil, a recipe for disaster that circulated on TikTok. The FDA issued warnings against ingesting and preparing this alternative medicine, emphasizing potential dangers to one’s health and lungs. TikTok chefs experimenting with NyQuil risk serious consequences.
The blackout challenge
Known as the “passout challenge” or “the fainting game,” participants in the Blackout Challenge dared to choke themselves until they passed out. Tragically, a 10-year-old girl in Italy lost her life, leading to TikTok urging users to flag accounts engaging in this perilous trend.
‘Dragon’s Breath’ challenge
Encouraging the consumption of candy coated in liquid nitrogen, the ‘Dragon’s Breath’ challenge became popular on TikTok. However, improper ingestion led to over 20 children being hospitalized in Indonesia with burns, stomach aches, and food poisoning.
Skull breaker challenge
Originating as “rompcráneos” in Venezuela, the Skull Breaker Challenge involves tripping someone mid-jump, causing a dangerous fall. Injuries and charges in various locations highlight its potential for causing serious and life-threatening injuries, from skull fractures to paralysis and death.
These trends may offer temporary thrills, but the risks far outweigh the likes. TikTok encourages users to stay creative but within the bounds of safety.