What is the ‘Skull Breaker Challenge’? Users caution against dangerous trend

There’s a challenge popping up all over TikTok that has some users deeply concerned. 

The Skull Breaker Challenge may look like a simple prank, but it has allegedly ended with multiple hospital visits. Why is it so dangerous?

Well, it involves purposefully knocking someone down. You don’t have to be an expert to know that’ll probably go south quickly.

What is the Skull Breaker Challenge? 

TikToker Chané Grobler explained it well. The Skull Breaker Challenge is when three people line up, the person at the center jumps in the air and the two people on the side kick the jumper’s legs from under them. This means the jumper usually falls down.

Most importantly, because it is a prank the person jumping may not know this is going to happen. Needless to say, people can get hurt —and have.

It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: don’t try the Skull Breaker Challenge at home.

People have gotten hurt and faced criminal charges due to the Skull Breaker Challenge. 

The challenge became popular in early 2020, but by March, U.S. prosecutors charged two minors with third-degree aggravated assault related to the Skull Breaker Challenge. Authorities said the prank caused a third minor to experience a seizure and concussion.

According to BBC News, a mother in the U.K. wrote a Facebook post pleading with strangers to avoid this challenge. 

“Please, please if you have teenagers doing TikToks, do not let them get involved in this,” the mother wrote. “I’m sitting in [accident and emergency] with my daughter with a severe spinal injury.”

Another mother in Alabama wrote a Facebook post about how her son broke his wrist and required surgery doing the Skull Breaker Challenge. 

And these are just a few of the numerous incidents documented. 

How did TikTok respond to the Skull Breaker Challenge?

TikTok, as well as TikTok users like @kelly_kikx, have taken measures to stop the spread of the challenge.

“Your life is worth more than a challenge,” she wrote in a video.

The company urged users to report the challenge and has taken steps to suppress videos that use the hashtag #skullbreakerchallenge. 

“We do not allow content that encourages or replicates dangerous challenges that might lead to injury,” TikTok said in a newsroom post. “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.”

If you enjoyed this story, check out TikTok’s much safer songwriting challenge.

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