Autism Challenge

Autism Challenge

Part of a series on TikTok. [View Related Entries]

Updated May 17, 2020 at 05:06AM EDT by Y F.

Added May 14, 2020 at 03:50PM EDT by Sophie.

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Autism Challenge is a social game that is designed to make participants look disabled. Although the game has been around since at least the early 2000s, in April 2020 the Autism Challenge began trending on TikTok using the sound clip "original sound – zanayasligh." New of the trending challenge reached Twitter and Facebook, where many criticized the challenge for being offensive and promoting ableism.


On May 21st, 2012, Youtuber blavis50 uploaded the earliest known example of the challenge online (shown below). The video gained over 31,600 views in eight years. Although, the original Autism Challenge TikTok videos have been deleted, TikTokers began dueting examples of them on April 27th, 2020.


On April 27th, 2020, TikToker urgirladrie urgirladrie dueted an example of people performing the Autism Challenge while making a disgusted face (shown below, left). The video garnered over 18,200 likes in two weeks (shown below, left). On May 7th, TikToker yancepants uploaded his statement on the matter which received over 116,200 likes in a week. On May 9th, TikToker samantha.nicole dueted an example of the challenge and shared a photo of her brother (shown below, right). The video accumulated over 11,900 likes in five days.

On May 12th, Facebook user Finding Cooper's Voice posted a video denouncing the trend which garnered over 13,000 reacts and 7,000 shares in two days (shown below). The video was captioned:
I recently found out about a new challenge on TikTok. It's entire purpose is to make fun of those with disabilities, specifically with autism. In one, a mother is doing 'the dance' with her own kid. Making fun of sounds and hand gestures. To 'that' mom, I have a message for you. I am shocked. I am sickened. And I am embarassed for you. TikTok these videos need to be removed. I'm pretty sure humiliating a group of people goes against your 'standards.'

On May 13th, the Twitter account for Autism Speaks[1] tweeted, "We are shocked and disturbed by the recent @tiktok_us challenge that encourages mean-spirited, discriminatory and cruel behavior toward people with special needs, including autism" (shown below, left). That day, Twitter user @AutisticBarbie[2] also responded to the trend saying, "Anyone who participates in TikTok’s autism challenge is absolute TRASH. #ActuallyAutistic" (shown below, right). The Daily Dot[3] Published an article on the trend.

autism speaks @autismspeaks autism speaks We are shocked and disturbed by the recent @tiktok_us challenge that encourages mean-spirited, discriminatory and cruel behavior toward people with special needs, including autism. 11:48 AM - May 13, 2020 - Twitter Web App Autistic.Barbie @AutisticBarbie Anyone who participates in TikTok's autism challenge is absolute TRASH. #ActuallyAutistic 9:04 PM May 13, 2020 · Twitter for iPhone

Various Examples

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External References

[1] Twitter – autismspeaks

[2] Twitter – AustiticBarbie

[3] Daily Dot – TikTok Autism Challenge

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Top Comments


I'm speechless.

I've never been this horribly offended before.

I am so angry, I cannot formulate a joke or witty remark that does not involve reenacting one of history's
infamous genocides on Tik-Tok users.

When are we going to convince Apple and Google to ban Tik-Tok?

What is it about that damn App that makes it's users so fucking… unsavory?


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