Within just two years, TikTok has become the platform to beat. The app was once reserved for teens who made dancing videos, but thanks to the 2020 COVID quarantine, TikTok thrived under the lockdown. Now, this has become a space where artists are finding their songs going viral, unknown entertainers develop followings into the millions, and challenges sweep the globe as people attempt to gain notoriety.
Sadly, not all of these challenges are innocent. We previously reported on TikTok’s Kia Challenge which showed its billions of users how to hotwire the vehicle using phone charges and other accessible tools. Things became so out of control that police departments across the United States claimed that Kia thefts increased exponentially.
However, it isn’t just legal trouble that some TikTokers have found themselves under. In Buffalo, New York, four teens between the ages of 14 and 19 tragically lost their lives in a crash after reportedly doing the Kia Challenge.
The Buffalo News reported that earlier this week, six teens who learned how to hotwire a Kia stole a vehicle and decided to take the car for a joyride the next day. On a highway, the speeding vehicle lost control and rolled over. Ahjanae Harper, Marcus Webster, Kevin Payne, and Swazine Swindle all lost their lives in the wreck. Harper, 14, was the mother of an infant.
It was reported that the 16-year-old who was behind the wheel survived and is facing felony charges. Another 14-year-old girl also survived the crash and is reportedly doing well in recovery.
There have been several warnings from the authorities about executing dangerous TikTok challenges. There was a wave of injuries due to the Milk Crate Challenge, and a child died when they attempted the Benadryl Challenge. At the end of 2021, a family grieved the loss of a nine-year-old girl after she passed away while trying the Blackout Challenges.
TikTok has faced lawsuits tied to these deaths and have often banned challenges that seem to promote dangerous activity.