Guy creates fake "porcelain challenge" on TikTok to prove a point, gets banned by TikTok

This selection of antique dinnerware is safe from getting sucked up into our sinuses for now.
This selection of antique dinnerware is safe from getting sucked up into our sinuses for now.

A couple of weeks back, the internet was abuzz with rumors that those wild and crazy TikTok kids were participating in a viral challenge that involved cooking chicken in NyQuil. As it turned out, nobody was actually doing this and an FDA warning against creating this forbidden bedtime snack was responsible for driving interest toward the “challenge” in the first place.

In order to highlight just how easily this kind of misinformation can spread online, one TikTok user was inspired by the NyQuil chicken fiasco to dream up a fake “viral challenge” that consists of smashing up porcelain dishes, grinding the debris into powder, and snorting lines of it on camera. He is now banned by the platform for his efforts.

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As NBC News’ Morgan Sung writes, TikTok user Sebastian Durfee (who used the handle “childprogeny”) posted a video on Saturday suggesting that “TikTok users spread a rumor that Gen Z was ‘grinding up their parents’ antique china into a fine powder and snorting it like cocaine.’” He came up with the hashtag #porcelainchallenge, the joke spread, and on Monday, his account was banned and the videos deleted. At the time of writing, the tag has 5.4 million views.

Speaking to NBC, Durfee says he “thought it would be interesting to see if I could find the sweet spot of manufacturing something that is blatantly false” and easily traced back to its blatantly jokey source while still being “interesting enough that people will want to get in on it and help it spread.”

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The point Durfee was trying to make, as is pretty much inevitable with anything on the internet, may be a bit harder to spot now that the hashtag has truly gone viral. When you check out videos associated with the tag, the kind of stuff that surfaces includes people reacting with disbelief that anyone would approach the prospect of willingly stuffing your sinuses with bits of ground ceramic as “a fun lil quirky thing” and lots of warnings against how dangerous it is to do so. What started as a joke is now something that people think has taken off as a legitimate TikTok challenge— and they’re honestly concerned.

Considering all of this, it seems like maybe a more harmless fake challenge could have been created instead. Like, we don’t know, more numbskull hijinks where the most dangerous part of getting involved requires opening up a can of beans .

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