TikTok Bans Milk Crate Challenge Over Concerns That Viral Videos 'Glorify Dangerous Acts'

The social media platform said they were removing any videos with #MilkCrateChallenge and redirecting searches to their Community Guidelines

milk crate
A milk crate. Photo: getty

TikTok has officially banned the Milk Crate Challenge from its platform due to concerns that the viral trend is promoting dangerous activity.

In a statement to PEOPLE on Friday, a spokesperson for TikTok confirms they have deleted search results for the challenge to "discourage" users from participating in the risky trend.

"TikTok prohibits content that promotes or glorifies dangerous acts, and we remove videos and redirect searches to our Community Guidelines to discourage such content," the spokesperson says. "We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off."

The challenge — which sees people climbing up and down an unsecured pyramid made out of milk crates, often ending in catastrophic falls — gained popularity on the social media platform earlier this month.

While many of the videos appear to be posted on TikTok, they've also been shared on other platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

As of Friday, those who attempt to search #MilkCrateChallenge on TikTok will now find an error message that reads, "No results found. This phrase may be associated with behavior or content that violates our guidelines. Promoting a safe and positive experience is TikTok's top priority."

TikTok's decision to ban the viral challenge comes after multiple reports of users being injured while attempting the trend.

In Dallas, a woman injured herself while taking part in the risky viral challenge, the city's Police Chief Eddie Garcia told ABC affiliate WFAA.

According to ABC affiliate WSB-TV, an Atlanta-area medical worker saw at least two people who had broken or fractured bones after falling off the crates Sunday.

Henry Schuitema, the chief of emergency medicine at Jefferson Health in New Jersey, told The Washington Post that his hospital saw one patient with suffered several fractured ribs due to the trend.

"So many of these injuries we're seeing are preventable just by being intelligent," Schuitema said. "If you catch a corner of one of those crates, it's going to be problematic. It looks like something funny, but real people are getting real injuries."

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Doctors and health officials have also been issuing warnings recently over the challenge.

"With COVID-19 hospitalizations rising around the country, please check with your local hospital to see if they have a bed available for you, before attempting the #milkcratechallenge," the Baltimore City Health Department tweeted on Monday.

When Conan O'Brien joked that he was waiting for the Food and Drug Administration to approve the trend before attempting it, the agency replied on Twitter, "Although we regulate milk, we can't recommend you try that. Perhaps enjoy a nice glass of 2% and return all those crates to the grocery store?"

George Gantsoudes, an orthopedic surgeon in Virginia, also shared an example of the challenge gone wrong on Twitter, noting that "surgeries required to fix problems caused by this may fall under the umbrella of 'elective surgeries.'"

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