Monday, April 11, 2022

Shot with plastic pellets- Stop TikTok's "Orbeez Challenge"

I was walking across my yard the other evening to get my SUP board from the shed when some random jerks drove by and sprayed me with an automatic plastic pellet gun. I'm not injured, but it was very upsetting and it left marks. I filed a report with the cops (physically harming someone against their will is battery), but since I didn't get the license plate of the car the guys probably won't get caught.

I've since learned that this is part of the TikTok "orbeeze challenge" to shoot strangers with pellets, film their distress, and derive sadistic pleasure and internet fame from making the video go viral. Of course this is happening on TikTok, the same shitty company that helped disseminate the "slap your teacher challenge" and the "eat laundry detergent pods" challenge. Apparently TikTok sees no moral problem with making money hosting videos of these dangerous and illegal things, rather than taking them offline and lifetime-banning and reporting the posters as they ought to.

I described my experience on social media, and it has been encouraging to see the near unanimous response that this is NOT an ok thing for people to do. I hope that will be translated to cracking down on it effectively.

Extending this to a general "hot take" on "what's wrong with the world these days?" I see this as a sign of a culture that has increasingly accepted the gross exploitation of its own people by companies and individuals as normal, maybe because of an obsession with money and fame at any cost. We need to nip this in the bud ASAP, both at the small scale level of individuals who do the dumb things, and at the large scale of the companies that enable and profit off it.