While we love uncovering TikTok beauty hacks and feeling empowered by pick-me-mantras like Main Character Energy and Lucky Girl Syndrome, this particular viral fad is frightening, dangerous and ultimately makes people question their safety.
WHAT IS TIKTOK’S APRIL 24 TREND?
Ahead of April 24, 2021, a group of male users declared their twisted version of a holiday, “National Rape Day,” and provided tips about how to sexually assault women. This was all to combat Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the US, which intends to help raise awareness about violence. According to USA Today(opens in new tab), the hashtag #april24 garnered over three million views and left women wondering whether or not to even venture out of the house.
Other users suggested that the trend was just a joke, but still warned followers to be cautious nonetheless.
“There is a mix of people who seem to claim that it is a joke and a bunch of other people who are trying to say it is very, very real,” another user said. “So out of an abundance of caution, I think everyone needs to just try and stay home.”
Although we are approaching the two-year anniversary of this controversial fad’s birth, some are beginning to wonder if it will resurface. A new viral video(opens in new tab) that has raked in 1.5 million views in 2023 fears that the trend will never disappear, no matter the year.
WAS THE APRIL 24 TIKTOK TREND EVER SERIOUS?
Despite the message spreading like wildfire on TikTok, a spokesperson for the platform told Newsweek(opens in new tab) that they never found video evidence promoting this trend on the app, though there is plenty of content addressing it.
“Keeping our community safe is our priority, and we do not tolerate content that promotes or glorifies non-consensual sexual acts including rape and sexual assault,” the spokesperson said.
There haven’t been any reported incidents, but come late winter/early spring, it seems people begin questioning if history will repeat itself, or if users will threaten their followers with something more frightening.
HOW TO BLOCK DANGEROUS VIDEOS AND STAY SAFE
Blocking the videos may seem like a small act, but it has a huge impact. By reporting any hashtags, videos, and users that promote this behavior, you’re helping to stop the spreading of the harmful message it is sending to TikTok users. If you happen to see a video advertising this awful event while you’re scrolling through the app, TikTok users have explained how you can block any videos that seem to be promoting it.
Simply click the arrow located at the bottom of the screen (right next to the comment button) and then click the flag marked as “report.” From there, you’ll receive a list of reasons for blocking the video. Just choose one of the options that best fits and it will help block the video.
Visit the TikTok Safety Center(opens in a new tab) if there is anything you’d like addressed or reported. Should you feel as though a social media connection has led to a threat in real life, contact the authorities.