Arts & Culture News

North Texans Keep Injuring Themselves for TikTok's Milk Crate Challenge

Just stop with the milk crate challenge before more of you get hurt.
Just stop with the milk crate challenge before more of you get hurt. Tim Boyle/Getty
Milk crates have been used for a variety of unconventional purposes: extra home storage, stepping ladders, boosters for children’s seats and more. But the latest use sweeping the internet is a challenge known as the #milkcratechallenge.

The main idea is that someone must walk up and down a pyramid-shaped stack of crates without falling. Although pyramids may vary in size, the standard on social media stands seven crates high at its peak.

Sounds simple enough, right? Not necessarily.

Although you can easily find videos of people triumphantly completing the challenge on Twitter, it’s just as easy to find others tumbling from the top of the pyramid right onto the concrete — and not in a graceful, Simone Biles type of way.

Many of these folks don’t fare well after falling seven feet to the ground. Most failed attempts shared on social media display a shocking lack of padding or cushioning on the ground and few to no spotters, as bystanders are too busy recording the challenge for internet fame. In Dallas, two people are reportedly injured after trying to complete the challenge.

Dallas Police Department officers responded to an incident on the 8300 block of La Prada Drive at about 11 p.m. Monday because someone fell and hit their head trying to complete the challenge at a gas station.

Original reports claimed the person died on the spot, but Sergeant Tramese Jones, Dallas Police Department public information officer, clarified that they were alive but injured when officers arrived on the scene. However, the police report was unavailable as of Thursday.

A video shared by @DallasTexasTV on Twitter shows a different person breaking his leg while trying to complete the challenge. After about two weeks of this challenge — which appears to have originated on Facebook on Aug. 13 — and countless injuries, some people and organizations are beginning to say enough is enough.

And with many hospitals across the nation already overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, some health departments are urging people to reconsider risking broken bones or worse for a few minutes of clout.

On Monday, the Baltimore Health Department tweeted, “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.”

Even the Food and Drug Administration weighed in after comedian Conan O’Brien joked on Twitter that he needed FDA approval before attempting the challenge. The FDA tweeted back, “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?”

TikTok decided to step in and has since deleted the #milkcratechallenge and #cratechallenge tags, which previously had millions of views. Both tags have no videos under them as of Thursday, and when you search either tag, you’re directed to TikTok’s Community Guidelines page.

In a statement about the challenge, a TikTok spokesperson said, “TikTok prohibits content that promotes or glorifies dangerous acts, and we remove videos and redirect searches to our community guidelines to discourage such content. We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or offline.”

If TikTok has to warn the masses that something is too dangerous to allow watching, maybe it’s just that dumb.
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