It’s a tale as old as time: Humans goading themselves into serious, preventable injury and then getting banned. This time, it’s something called the “Milk Crate Challenge,” which involves building a tall pyramid out of milk crates and filming oneself walking over before inevitably careening off of it, and hashtags related to it are now banned on TikTok.
For those who need an explanation of why stumbling off a pile of boxes is dangerous, consider that each and every one of your bones can actually become several separate, incredibly painful bone fragments with the application of sufficient kinetic energy, and not necessarily in the same location, they were before. (Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Shawn Anthony of New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital told the Washington Post the Milk Crate Challenge amounted to people volunteering for “elective injuries” and was “perhaps even worse than falling from a ladder,” while Atlanta orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Vonda Wright told NBC News it could result in traumatic injuries with “lifelong implications.”)
For an illustration of what can happen, here’s a screencap from a video of a man, possibly a police officer, whose milk crate pyramid was kicked out from under him mid-challenge:
Where the hell are people getting all these milk crates, anyways?
TikTok “prohibits content that promotes or glorifies dangerous acts, and we remove videos and redirect searches to our Community Guidelines to discourage such content,” a company spokesperson told the site. “We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behaviour whether online or off.”
Searching for two hashtags related to the challenge on TikTok, #milkcratechallenge and #cratechallenge, returns no results and a message stating, “This phrase may be associated with behaviour or content that violates our guidelines. Promoting a safe and positive experience is TikTok’s top priority. For more information, we invite you to review our Community Guidelines.”
Business Insider noted that by the time TikTok took action on the Milk Crate Challenge, the hashtags had racked up over 71 million video views.
Previous best hits in the genre of ill-advised viral challenges include running through traffic blindfolded , dipping one’s testicles in soy sauce, setting fire to snow to prove it isn’t real, and the “Skull Breaker Challenge,” which kind of speaks for itself.