Social media is once again abuzz with a viral issue surrounding the Hellmaxxing TikTok trend, where kids are allegedly encouraged to do evil and sinful things, much to the shock and fear of their parents.
However, the Hellmaxxing TikTok trend is not a real challenge on the popular social media app. According to Business Insider, it started off as a joke on Twitter, complete with a fake story about the challenge to trigger fearmongering among the parents.
The fake story even highlighted "concerns" from the police and the clergy since the challenges allegedly have teenagers committing sins that "even the devil" would not tolerate. The tweet has since gained over 28,000 likes and nearly 2,500 retweets.
well i never pic.twitter.com/hlFuVbWeHn— venus wormwood (@wormwood_stars) October 18, 2021
What is "Hellmaxxing"?
Per the Urban Dictionary, hellmaxxing has been defined as a "one-way ticket to hell" where a person does something "incredibly bad, evil or shameful." But a #hellmaxxing hashtag is not trending on TikTok despite the fake article saying its content has over a million views.
However, the fears among parents and school teachers about similar dangerous challenges on the video-sharing app are real.
In September, young students in the U.S. and all the way to Australia vandalized school properties for the Devious Lick TikTok challenge. In October, schools issued warnings in advance as word got around that a Slap a Teacher TikTok challenge would be underway. They informed parents that their kids could likely face police sanctions and have a permanent police record if they joined challenges bordering on criminal activities.
TikTok said it would be taking down video content relating to these challenges as it goes against their community guidelines. The social site also said that they would not condone criminal activities among their users.
What Parents Must Do
While TikTok is largely known for its crazy challenges, there are also plenty of creative, informative, and entertaining contents on the platform, which is why it appeals to young users. One way or another, kids will figure out how to sign up on TikTok, and Dr. Deborah Gilboa said their parents must serve as their guides on how to navigate these platforms.
"You've got to create some sort of program for them to learn the strategies and the tools and the rules," parenting expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa said in an interview with Today.
On the other hand, pediatrician Dr. Candice Jones said that it might help for parents also to be receptive to their teenager's social media use, especially if they like sending silly videos from TikTok. They could also start a conversation with their kids about what they've seen on the platform or social media in general.
Asking their opinion about the trends and issues can help foster open communication between them. From there, moms or dads would be able to gauge how much their children understand about what's really happening on social media.
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