TikTok is known for its light-hearted and entertaining content, but some dangerous and harmful trends have also spread in the past, such as the Timer Trend.
So what exactly is the Timer Trend challenge?
In the challenge, the user starts by setting up a timer on their phone, with the alarm set to go off anywhere between several minutes and several days.
A caption is often added to the video, saying something like “Let’s see who cares” or “I will do it when it runs out,” indicating that they’re planning to take their own life when the timer runs out.
The aim of the harmful trend, is to get someone to reach out after seeing the video and message, to prove that they “care” about them. The timer is used to denote the time the user has left to “live”, hoping others will reach out to them before it runs out.
As TikTok has banned words like “dead” and “suicidal”, users who take part in the challenge often replace the words with “unalive” and “s0ic1al.” Some users under the timertrend hashtag have even encouraged others to do the challenge.
How to report the Time Trend challenge
It’s important to always report harmful and deadly challenges on social media. If you come across videos promoting this challenge on TikTok, just click on the white arrow on the right side of the video, tap the icon that says “report,” and tap on the “suicide, self-harm and dangerous acts” option.
If you want to report an account promoting the challenge, you can go to their profile, tap the 3-dot icon on the top right, and tap “Report” to report the account.
TikTok has not made a public statement about the trend at the time of writing, however, previously dangerous trends such as the Blackout challenge have been banned, preventing the sharing of the hashtag.
If you or somebody you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can reach out to the Samaritans (116 123) and Recovery (0203 553 0324) in the United Kingdom, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) and SAMHSA (1-800-662-4357) in the USA. For a list of worldwide hotlines, click here.