Egypt’s Ministry of Education warned schools and teachers last week to watch out for students involved in any “abnormal activities” following the emergence of videos on TikTok showing students participating in the so-called “blackout challenge”, which involves participants holding their breath until they pass out.
The blackout challenge, also known as the “pass-out challenge” or “choking challenge,” is the latest TikTok challenge to cause controversy and concern in Egypt.
The education ministry issued its warning after a video went viral showing a group of four girls in school uniforms in Egypt participating in the challenge. One of the girls held her breath until she passed out, after which she was woken up by her three friends.
It is unclear when and where the clip was filmed.
Screenshots from another video involving a group of boys from a private school participating in the challenge also went viral.
Many of the videos about the blackout challenge currently on Tiktok have been posted by concerned parents and adults from around the globe warning about its dangers.
Parents have also shared on social media screenshots of emails and WhatsApp messages reportedly from some private schools warning parents and students about the challenge.
The blackout challenge first appeared on Tiktok in 2021, but at the time it involved participants choking themselves with scarves.
The Egyptian parliament and Al-Azhar, Egypt’s biggest religious institution, issued warnings about the challenge at the time.
Children reportedly died in several countries while participating in the challenge in 2021, including in Italy, Australia, and the United States.
The Chinese, California-based video platform TikTok is facing several lawsuits over the challenge.
The “blackout challenge” is the latest TikTok trend to raise concerns in Egypt, after the “skull breaker challenge” went viral in February 2020.
In 2018, warnings were issued over the “blue whale” online game, which led to a high school student committing suicide.