(FOX Carolina) - Viral trends on social media can range in what they ask users to do or what end goal there is, if any. Some are pointless and potentially harmful, like the "cinnamon challenge" from a few years ago. Others, like the "ice bucket challenge", helped raise money for research into ALS (also known as Lou Gherig's Disease).
Sadly, the latest trend on short-form video app TikTok falls into the former category: pointless and harmful.
What is the newest trend, you may ask? We won't show you the video, but "scalp popping", or the act of pulling one's own hair hard and fast enough to make a popping sound from your scalp. Why kids are doing it is not exactly clear, aside from trying to make the sound happen, but it has consequences: pain, hair loss, bald spots, and tissue damage are all possible.
Brittany Weiner, a reporter with our sister station WSMV in Nashville, spoke with Dr. Andrew Doyle, a pediatrician who warned against partaking in the latest viral challenge.
“What you’re trying to do is pull tissue layers apart in your scalp,” he said. “If you pull too hard or the wrong way you risk tearing the tissue, tearing the skin itself and pulling out a whole lot of hair.”
The risk associated with the #scalppopping trend has now caused TikTok to attach a warning on the hashtag's landing page in the app. It reads:
At TikTok, while we value creative expression, our foremost priority is keeping users safe. Performance, imitation, or encouragement of dangerous amateur stunts and risky behavior that can lead to serious injury or death is not permitted on TikTok. Help keep the TikTok community safe and report content that violates our Community Guidelines.
In an email to FOX Carolina News, a TikTok representative reaffirmed that videos that replicate dangerous challenges are not allowed and are, in fact, violations of TikTok's Community Guidelines.
It's not clear if TikTok has begun removing videos or shadow-banning creators who participated in the trend as of writing, but the most-viewed video at the top of the hashtag landing page only has about 1600 views. However, the page notes videos with the #scalppopping hashtag have thus far garnered 6.6 million views collectively.