TikTok has banned 'skull breaker challenge' videos - here's why

Thursday, 5th March 2020, 5:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th March 2020, 5:19 pm

TikTok has banned a certain type of viral prank video from their app to deter people from being seriously injured.

The popular social media platform began with users sharing videos of themselves singing along to their favourite songs. It has evolved into one of the largest video sharing apps for teenagers across the world.

However, concerns have been growing over some of the dangerous pranks that users are playing on each other. One, attached to the hashtag #skullbreakerchallenge, shows teenagers tricking classmates into jumping, before swiping their legs forward, making the victim fall violently backwards and hit their head off the floor.

A risk of 'severe spinal injury'

In February, a mother wrote on Facebook, "I'm sitting in [accident and emergency] with my daughter with a severe spinal injury."

Her daughter had taken part in the challenge with two friends. She added, "Please, please if you have teenagers doing TikToks, do not let them get involved in this."

In the USA, two children have been charged with thrid-degree aggravated assault, as well as third-degree endangering an injured victim, after pranking a 13 year old boy.

TikTok's response

TikTok released a statement saying, "We do not allow content that encourages or replicates dangerous challenges that might lead to injury. In fact, it's a violation of our community guidelines and we will continue to remove this type of content from our platform. Nobody wants their friends or family to get hurt filming a video or trying a stunt.

"It's not funny - and since we remove that sort of content, it certainly won't make you TikTok famous."

TikTok has urged users to report videos containing the challenge and confirmed that user publishing content with the hashtag #SkullBreakerChallenge will be prompted with a message "reminding users to not imitate or encourage public participation in dangerous stunts and/or risky behaviour that could lead to serious injury or death".