Warning To Parents: The Viral 'Skull-breaker' TikTok Challenge Is Causing Severe Injuries
Here's why parents should worry about it.
Today’s most viewed Tik Tok video could probably be of the viral skull-breaker challenge.
But unlike other social media challenges that are done in the name of good fun, the Skullbreaker challenge is one you should avoid.
The video prank, which originated in South America, involves three people. One of them is tricked into jumping while the other two kick the former’s feet from under them to make them fall. The victim then lands on their back and hits their head on the ground.
Most viewed Tik Tok video: Skull-breaker Challenge
In recent months, the challenge has gone viral on TikTok, causing unsuspecting youths to get injured in school.
Those who fall may break their skull, damage nerves, and suffer bleeding in the brain, medical experts warned. They may also suffer serious spinal cord injuries from the impact.
A boy in Arizona recently injured his head after he was tricked into jumping by his schoolmates. He fell a second time as he lost consciousness while trying to get back on his feet.
Last November, a 16-year-old girl from Brazil, a victim of such a prank, died after hitting her head on the ground.
While it appears that the trend has yet to catch on in Singapore, authorities in Malaysia and Thailand have started to issue stern warnings.
To deter people from attempting the challenge, also called the Tripping Jump Challenge, Thai police have said that those found guilty of injuring others may be fined up to 200,000 baht (S$8,900) and jailed up to 10 years.
In Singapore, TOUCH Cyber Wellness has shared some tips with parents on how they should talk about the topic with their kids.
Some practical responses include highlighting their concerns about the challenge with their children, discussing the potential dangers of the game, and how to provide first aid in case someone gets hurt after falling for the prank.
A quick check on TikTok showed that the few videos bearing the Skullbreaker challenge hashtag are all warning users against attempting it.
“The safety and well-being of our users is a top priority at TikTok,” a TikTok spokesperson told AsiaOne.
“As made clear in our Community Guidelines, we do not allow content that encourages, promotes, or glorifies dangerous challenges that might lead to injury, and this includes the Skullbreaker challenge.”
“Our content moderation team are on the lookout and we will remove any such content promptly.”
10 Ways To Keep You And Your Children Safe While Using TikTok:
With the popularity of social media today, your child is at risk of being exposed to dangerous challenges and malicious content online. While TikTok assures content moderation is in place, as a parent, you can do your part in keeping your children safe while using the platform.
1) Age Gate
A feature that only allows users who are 13 years and above to create an account, it prevents under-aged children from using the platform.
2) Screen Time Management
This feature allows users to limit their time spent on the application to 40, 60, 90, 120 minutes per day. Any further usage beyond the set limit would require users to re-enter their passwords.
3) Restricted Mode
This account setting protects minors with a machine-learning Artificial Intelligence that filters out content that may not be age-appropriate. It is optional and exists so that users can take control of the content they watch and receive. Once selected, this mode can only be reverted by entering a password.
4) In-app Suicide Prevention
This feature redirects users to an in-app suicide resource page that offer tips and hotlines so that users are able to receive help.
5) Risk Warning Tag
This functionality is added to notify viewers that a video may not be desirable for general consumption.
6) Comment Filter Feature
Allows the user to self-define up to 30 keywords from the comments in English and the user’s local language. This list can be altered at any given point.
7) Parental control
Made up of Screen Time Management and Restricted Mode. Parents are encouraged to set a password for these features together to limit their children’s time spent on TikTok such that they would only be able to use the app when parents/guardians are able to monitor their TikTok activity.
8) In-app Reporting
This function allows users to report inappropriate content or behaviour on TikTok to be reviewed and taken action upon.
9) Privacy Settings
With this safety feature, users are able to:
- Decide who is allowed to follow them
- Decide who is allowed to send comments
- Decide who is allowed to react to their videos
- Decide who is allowed to take part in a duet
- Decide who can send them messages
- Avoid undesirable content to be downloaded
- Create and edit a block list
10) TikTok is compliant with local laws and regulations to preserve the safety of user data
- Works with leading third-party cloud services and data storage partners to store and protect users’ information in a multitude of locations including the US and Singapore.
- Local laws and regulations are strictly abided to protect data privacy. In Europe, TikTok complies with the GDPR and in the US, abides by the federal, state, and local privacy protection laws.