New TikTok challenge under fire for “mocking” people with disabilities

Published: 15/May/2020 6:01 Updated: 18/May/2020 12:29

by Andrew Amos


A new TikTok challenge, dubbed the ‘Autism Challenge,’ has been widely criticized by creators on the platform for openly “mocking” people with disabilities, and the site has now begun taking action against content associated with the trend.

The ‘Autism Challenge’ on TikTok involved users dancing to a parody song of Black Eyed Peas hit “Let’s Get It Started,” making hand gestures that “mocked” people with disabilities.

The trend got shut down as quickly as it rose. As the hashtag started going viral, creators were quick to criticize users who jumped on the bandwagon. YouTube star Philip DeFranco was one of many to lead a public outcry against the trend.

“Many of these videos have received massive backlash, prompting many to delete them,” said DeFranco in a May 14 video. “However, it’s unclear with all of them as to whether the posts were removed by Tiktok or by the creators themselves.”

All references to the challenge ⁠— except the audio used ⁠— have “disappeared” from the platform, according to DeFranco.

For mobile readers, the related segment begins at 4:56.

Instead of letting the song disappear though, other creators have weaponized it to hit back at people who took part in the challenge. Searching for the track on Tiktok brings up a host of videos condemning users for “mocking” people with disabilities.

“It’s been flooded by people slamming the trend. A number of posts are people pretending that they’re about to do the dance, then lecturing people about how disgusting it is,” added DeFranco.

Support groups for people with disabilities have condemned creators as well, including American charity Autism Speaks and blogger Kate Swenson. “We are shocked and disturbed by the recent TikTok challenge that encourages mean-spirited, discriminatory and cruel behavior toward people with special needs, including autism,” said the charity on Twitter.

TikTok’s terms of service state that users on the platform cannot “intimidate or harass another, or promote…violence or discrimination based on…disability.”

TikTok are yet to issue a statement on the challenge. Although it’s mostly deleted from the platform, creators who took part in it are still active on the platform.


LS reveals how xQc reached out to him during T1 fans backlash

Published: 1/Dec/2020 19:57

by Alex Garton


Nick ‘LS’ De Cesare has revealed that Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel reached out to him during the T1 backlash offering his support and advice.

T1’s accidental leak that revealed LS was set to be the organization’s new League of Legends coach resulted in a wave of backlash against both parties.

Fans of the organization opted to send unjustifiable racial and homophobic abuse towards LS, as well as doxxing his grandmother and sending packages to her address. T1, from an outside perspective, did not handle the situation appropriately and seemingly offered little support to LS during this period.

This resulted in LS disabling his Twitter and going completely dark for a short period of time. This was no doubt due to the amount of hate and criticism he was receiving from T1 fans. One person who reached to support him was huge Twitch personality xQc.

xQc has over four million followers on Twitch.

xQc reached out to LS during T1 fans backlash

LS revealed on stream that the Twitch personality reached out to him in support. “Before I disabled my Twitter and went dark on everything, xQc was one of the very few people who reached out to me,” he said.

It was obvious LS was surprised he had reached out to him due to the streamer’s popularity: “Despite the fact that I’m like an insect compared to him, in terms of like brand and size and everything, it’s very nice.”

LS repeated multiple times that xQc is a “real one”, showing his appreciation for his support and care.

It’s clear that xQc reaching out to LS really meant a lot to him and helped him get through the difficult patch. Sometimes, just reaching out to somebody going through a hard time can make a world of difference.

Now, it’s just great to see LS back on track with the League of Legends content and streaming again.