UK charity Epilepsy Action has welcomed TikTok’s decision to remove harmful #seizurechallenge videos from its platform.
The challenge saw people posting videos imitating and mocking someone having a seizure, while a song by artist JuiceWrld plays. JuiceWrld tragically died as a result of a seizure in 2019.
The video trend originated shortly after JuiceWrld’s death, but re-remerged in recent weeks. Following pressure from epilepsy charities all over the world, TikTok has agreed to take these videos down from their platform and remove all offensive #seizurechallenge videos from now on.
Chantal Spittles, PR and media manager at Epilepsy Action, said: “We are one of many organisations who wrote to Tiktok to highlight just how insensitive and potentially harmful the #seizurechallenge is. We were also contacted by some people affected by epilepsy who said they found the videos distressing and in poor taste. We are delighted TikTok has seen sense and will be removing the videos from the platform.
“Seizures are no laughing matter. They can be life-threatening. People with epilepsy have to deal with both the physical and emotional challenge of having seizures, as well as battle negative public attitudes about their condition. A recent report showed that children and young adults with epilepsy in the UK are four times more vulnerable to mental health problems.
Chantal continued: “We want to improve understanding and attitudes towards epilepsy, and know social media platforms can be real force for good. We posted our first aid video on TikTok last year to raise awareness of what to do if somebody has a genuine seizure. The video has since been watched more than 1 million times, so we hope this has helped people to learn not just essential first aid skills but also realise that seizures are not a joke.”