TikTok’s Latest #AustismChallenge Is All About Mocking People With Disabilities. This Has To Be The Lowest TikTok Has Stooped.
With the luxury of stepping outside our houses gone, a lot of people have turned to social media to be put out of their boredom. Which, you might think is absolutely harmless, right? I mean three hours of scrolling through Instagram, stuck on endless loop of dog videos never hurt anyone. But like I have always said social media can be a boon and bane, it just depends on your perspective.
Social media, if used correctly is a wonderful world in its own. But, in the wrong and utterly mindless hands, it can do a whole lot of damage. And that is where it gets messed up because this virtual world was created to get people closer to their friends and families and not to post content that revolves around gym selfies accompanied by captions on how much you can bench-press (PS: no one cares). But that’s still okay and somewhat bearable, to each his own, we say. However, what’s not okay are the horrible and inappropriate challenges that TikTok users are now coming up with.
We were already struggling hard to forget the ice challenge or the god damned bird box challenge that potentially put people in harm’s way. And now, to add to that horrid list is a brand-new challenge called the #AustismChallenge. As if making girls stuff ice cubes in their vagina wasn’t enough, they now want to make fun of people with disabilities as well.
So, what is #AustismChallenge?
To begin with, it’s as offensive and as ridiculous as it sounds. According to the challenge, participants act as though they have autism with the aim of mocking the people actually suffering from the disability. There are videos floating around where people are pretending to have seizures, doing vile mimicry insinuating how people with autism have no control over their behaviour.
The worst part about this challenge is that it makes no sense (not that stuffing ice cubes in your vagina has logic but still). Please someone explain to me, how disability has turned into a social media entertainment wherein people who don’t suffer from it, pretend they do, and actually expect likes? Obviously, they are able-ists, mocking autistic people under the #AustismChallenge. And it is disgusting, to say at the very least.
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TikTok users mocked people with autism for a challenge.https://t.co/hqeKSxkoOc
— The Daily Dot (@dailydot) May 14, 2020
It’s extremely disconcerting to know that so many people are actively partaking this challenge. This has gone on to a point where this challenge started featuring on the For You Page of TikTok. (Not so) surprisingly, this was without it coming under the scrutiny of TikTok’s guidelines. So much for appropriate content.
If you think about it, this is a lot like cyber-bullying. I mean, what on earth were these people thinking? Or were they even were? Everything about this challenge, including its name, is offensive on so many levels, it makes us want to smack them in the face. Just when I thought TikTok can’t get any worse, it swoops in and proves me wrong. Despite all the crazy challenges it comes up with, this has got to be the lowest TikTok has stooped.
We are shocked and disturbed by the recent @tiktok_us challenge that encourages mean-spirited, discriminatory and cruel behavior toward people with special needs, including autism.
— autism speaks (@autismspeaks) May 13, 2020
On the bright side, however, there have been so many calls to shut this challenge down, and we are glad. Netizens are beyond pissed that TikTok users are entertaining themselves at the expense of people with autism. They are tweeting TikTok directly to report the challenge, urging them to shut this challenge down. They are calling out TikTok for allowing this and we think they had it coming.
Check out some of the tweets calling this challenge out:
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Anyone who participates in TikTok’s autism challenge is absolute TRASH. #ActuallyAutistic
— Autistic.Barbie (@AutisticBarbie) May 14, 2020
Dear @tiktokcreators, This Has Caught My Attention Really Fast. The Fact that I’m Also Autistic While I’m Hearing that There is Something Called The “Autism Challenge” is Introduced, Followed, And it is Ableist and To Me, Very Much Discriminating.
Please REMOVE Your Challenge.
— Pastiche Graham (@pastiche_graham) May 14, 2020
There is no denying that this challenge is insensitive and vile. Though the hashtag has been taken down now, why people felt the need to start it in the first place baffles me.
There are people who have worked very hard to destigmatize disabilities like autism and it’s because of challenges like these that people suffering have to go through so many societal issues as well. We need to be using these platforms to do good, not to spew hatred and offensive challenges like this one.
I don’t know who needs to hear, but making fun of disabled people by pretending to be disabled is not funny and it never will be.