If you’re a regular on TikTok and other video-sharing sites, you’ll most probably have come across footage of someone tumbling from a tower of milk crates.
The so-called “milk crate challenge” sees participants attempt to climb to the top of a precariously constructed plastic pyramid and back down again without falling off.
Inevitably, most of the videos end in failure, with competitors – and crates – sent crashing to the ground.
And yet, even though the trend has left numerous people with painful injuries (which, of course, they’ve shared with their followers online), its popularity has continued to mount.
As of Tuesday, #milkcratechallenge had racked up more than 9 million views on TikTok alone, Fast Company reports.
However, the social media site has since joined medical professionals in condemning the craze, and on Wednesday removed the hashtag from the platform.
Instead, anyone searching #milkcratechallenge will be greeted by the statement: “This phrase may be associated with behaviour or content that violates our guidelines. Promoting a safe and positive experience is TikTok’s top priority.”
The same applies to related search terms such as #milkcrate and #cratechallenge.
So why has TikTok done this?
A spokesperson for the platform said in a statement that it prohibits content which “promotes or glorifies dangerous acts”.
“We remove videos and redirect searches to our Community Guidelines to discourage such content,” they added, stressing: “We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behaviour whether online or off.”
It follows countless follow-up clips of TikTokers revealing horrific bumps and bruises as a result of taking on the task:
What have health professionals said about it?
Scores of doctors and surgeons have warned against the trend, with one New York orthopedic specialist explainingthat the challenge was bringing a slew of new patients to his hospital.
“The Milk Crate Challenge is very dangerous, and we are seeing many orthopedic injuries as a result of the falls,” Dr Shawn Anthony told America’s Today Show.
“Injuries can include broken wrists, shoulder dislocations, ACL and meniscus tears (both are to do with your knee), as well as life-threatening conditions like spinal cord injuries.”
“Emergency rooms across the country are already overcrowded and elective surgeries are being delayed or postponed due to lack of hospital beds,” he added.
“This social media challenge puts unnecessary additional stress on our health system and health care providers.”
Here’s what other experts and health organisations have had to say about the matter:
As the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) points out in the above tweet, you’re better off opting for a class of milk and leaving the crates alone.