Instagram, the Internet's Cool Mom, Leaves Up Videos Encouraging Kids to Steal From School | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Instagram, the Internet's Cool Mom, Leaves Up Videos Encouraging Kids to Steal From School

Like an aging water park, Facebook owes its continued existence to occasionally throwing in a new wave pool (Instagram) and then spending most of the rest of its days sipping a cold one and paying the settlements on the injury lawsuits, safe in the knowledge that it’s the only game in town. Now that a formidable rival is threatening to put it out of business, it must ask itself: what does TikTok have that I don’t? We ripped off literally everything, but they’ve still got the kids—hey, what about those kids cracking skulls in the parking lot?

Welcome to KrunkTown, aka Reels, aka the future of Facebook.

I believe in my heart that Facebook’s/Instagram’s Reels strategy hinges on being the rules-free zone. Here you can find users walking on glass shards, a guy inhaling a fire extinguisher, multiple generations vaping to their hearts’ content, another spraying a middle schooler on the neck with deodorant (which, when left on bare skin, has reportedly caused at least one person to suffer extreme burns).

The test of Instagram’s permissiveness was the Milk Crate Challenge, the end-of-summer blow-out involving summiting towers of milk crates and spilling brains on pavement. TikTok banned it soon after it took off, removing the hashtag and search term—don’t even think about so much as searching “milk crate” on the platform. (Though, admittedly and as always, the search auto-populates with “milk crat challeng” and “milk challenge,” which will lead you there.) Still, Instagram leaves it right out in the open; type in “milk crate challenge,” hit enter, and you won’t find “#milkcratechallenge,” singular. But you can choose from “#milkcratechallenges,” “#milkcratechallengefails,” “#milkcrates” and users, @milkcratechallenge_official, @milk_crate_challenge, @milkcratefunnyvid, etc. TikTok can at least credibly claim that kids snuck in with milk crats, and Facebook is leaving the backdoor propped.