TikTok's April 24 trend: did anything actually happen?

TikTok's April 24 trend shows an upsetting side of social media

In this photo illustration, a Tik Tok logo seen displayed on a smartphone.
(Image credit: Filip Radwanski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

New TikTok trends are constantly popping up, from sunset lamps to those TikTok yoga pants. As fun as these trends may be to participate in, not all are safe. Especially the latest one, which is unsettling to say the least.

TikTok users warned their followers about the disturbing April 24th TikTok trend—but what was it and was it actually serious?

What was the April 24th TikTok trend?

Some TikTok users claimed that a group of six men has reportedly declared April 24th as a "national sexual assault day" for carrying out rape and sexual assault, reportedly even providing tips on how you can successfully do it to someone. When it started trending, the "April24" hashtag had more than 25 million combined views.

The message was spread by some TikTok users who were actively warning their followers (especially those who are women) of this trend as they view the day as a potential threat to safety. 

"So I literally just saw a video on TikTok, and I had to make a video myself because most of my followers are women," a TikTok user warned. "And I need to make sure you guys are aware that there is a video going around on TikTok of disgusting men—rapists, child molesters, predators, just disgusting human beings—and they literally came up with a date to go around and rape women and children. You literally heard me right: women and children."

@la.tania.ftn2

PLEASE STAY SAFE LADIES AND BRING OUT THE TOYS!! (🔫🔪) #fyp #parati #staysafe #april24 #foryou #pleaseshare #pleaserepost #spreadtheword #womensafety

♬ Touch It - Clean - Busta Rhymes

Her video received over 1.5 million views and she urged viewers to not only share the video and spread the word but also be wary that day as it could pose a threat to our safety.

"You guys, stay indoors. I know it happens every day, but they are literally making this date especially for that. Carry what you got to carry cause I think the f**k not. Stay safe, share this," she continued.

Other users have suggested that the trend is just a joke, but have still warned followers to be wary nonetheless. 

"There is a mix of people who seem to claim that it is a joke and a bunch of other people who are trying to say it is very, very real," another user said. "So out of an abundance of caution, I think everyone needs to just try and stay home."

@showme_yourmask

Men. Be better. ##ShowMeYourMask ##alphabetmafia🌈 ##lgbt ##women ##nonbinary ##trans

♬ original sound - 🏳️‍🌈😷ShowMeYourMask🐉♍️

Was the April 24th TikTok trend ever serious?

Despite the message spreading like wildfire on TikTok, a spokesperson for the platform told Newsweek they found no evidence of these videos ever existing on the platform.

"Keeping our community safe is our priority, and we do not tolerate content that promotes or glorifies non-consensual sexual acts including rape and sexual assault," the spokesperson said.

"While we have not found evidence on our platform of any videos related to this subject, our safety team is remaining vigilant and we will remove content that violates our policies."

No reports emerged so far of incidents happening on 24th April due to the TikTok trend.

How to block any TikTok videos promoting Sexual Assault Day or any dangerous videos

While it's unclear if the trend was ever real or simply a hoax, it's worth knowing what to do if you encounter any dangerous videos on TikTok. 

Blocking the videos may seem like a small act, but it has a huge impact. By reporting any hashtags, videos, and users that promote this behavior, you're helping to stop spread the harmful message it's sending to TikTok users. 

If you happen to see a video advertising this awful event while you're scrolling through the app, TikTok users have explained how you can block any videos that seem to be promoting it. 

Simply click the arrow located at the bottom of the screen (right next to the comment button) and then click the flag marked as "report." From there, you'll receive a list of reasons for blocking the video. Just choose one of the options that best fit and it will help block the video.