Police are warning against the 48-Hours-Missing Challenge, but is it even real? The 48 hour challenge began popping up on YouTube years ago, with kids pranking their parents by “disappearing” for 48 hours.
But instead of dying off like it should have, police are saying that the challenge has gotten a second wind, with kids now trying to see if their photos will start appearing on social media as a missing person.
Most of these videos online end horribly, with the person deeply regretting trying the experiment- and for good reason. In addition to being out right dangerous, the challenge could also take up police resources otherwise needed for real emergencies. In a real kidnapping case, the first 48 hours are the most crucial, so there are a huge amount of resources used and understandable panic.
Kids participating could face legal action for a false alarm and inducing panic. Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Officer Simon Drobik said: “This could be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of.”
And we agree. But there’s another theory going around that this prank isn’t really a viral trend.
Snopes claims that the fake challenge dates back to 2015 roughly after the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral, and debunked it as a hoax. Snopes finds the origin to begin with a 13-year-old girl from northern France named Emma, who ran away from home for 3 days and claimed it was part of a Facebook challenge. Though, the original report reasons that her claim may not have been true, but nevertheless set off a firestorm amongst parents on Facebook warning each other of the dangerous new trend.
And for a “game” that is supposedly going viral all over the world, there’s not a lot of cases identified on social media, except for people shocked at how stupid it is, and the fact that there’s a lack of real examples of kids doing it.
But, the panic resurged when earlier this week when NBC Charlotte covered the search for 13-year-old Diana Clawson. About 24 hours later, Diana was found hiding under her bed, surrounded by shoes. Searchers on the scene told our reporter they thought she was participating in the 48-Hour Challenge. Posts and comments on Facebook about the possible connection blew up.
However, Diana’s mother, Tanya, was offended by that notion and told NBC Charlotte that speculation is hurtful, and her daughter was not participating in the challenge.
Also, no teenager is on Facebook anymore.
What do you think about this ‘viral challenge’ and do you think its real? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.