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TikTok Users Are Committing an Array of Sins as Part of the Hellmaxxing Trend

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Oct. 19 2021, Published 11:30 a.m. ET

The trends on challenges on TikTok have taken a turn toward the perverse in recent months, as school challenges and an array of other problematic trends highlight the deviant nature of a portion of TikTok's user base. The latest iteration of these trends is Hellmaxxing, which unfortunately has nothing to do with TJ Maxx. Here's what the trend is actually about.

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What is Hellmaxxing on TikTok?

Hellmaxxing is a TikTok trend that involves committing serious sins and filming them. The idea is that these sins will guarantee that you spend an eternity in hell, and the trend usually involves participants doing something evil or shameful. Even as the trend picks up steam, many of its most alarming videos have been removed from TikTok altogether because they violate TikTok's guidelines in one way or another.

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Hellmaxxing doesn't describe one specific act, though. Instead, it describes a whole mode of sinful activity that is currently being uploaded to TikTok. Parents are being warned about the Hellmaxxing trend. Police in Bensalem, Pennsylvania have issued explicit warnings suggesting that the trend could cause a panic and lead to pandemonium in their community.

TikTok has banned "#Hellmaxxing" from the platform altogether. If you search for videos with that hashtag, you won't find any results. The trend has already amassed more than one million views on the platform, though, and is proving to be resilient in the face of TikTok's crackdown. TikTok has long had a policy of banning violent, adult, and illegal content. Users who post illicit content will be issued a warning, and then banned if they become repeat offenders.

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Hellmaxxing has spread to other platforms.

As TikTok attempts to crack down on videos that are violating its terms of service and community guidelines, Hellmaxxing is spreading to other platforms that are now being forced to deal with similar issues. Videos are popping up on Reddit and Twitter, as users attempt to circumvent the takedowns that TikTok has put in place. Of course, Hellmaxxers could also come up with a new phrase, and then TikTok would have to start the process over again.

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Hellmaxxing comes on the heels of school challenges.

The Hellmaxxing trend may be an extreme example, but TikTok has become home to some more dangerous trends in recent months, and those trends are often alluring to young users in particular. The school challenges trend, which asked users to steal from their school in September and slap a teacher in October, has also picked up steam on the platform, and thereby encouraged bad behavior.

Now, Hellmaxxing is encouraging sinful behavior. That's not to say that the Bible or any other religious text should be the primary authority on morality. Some things that were once considered sins are definitely not bad things to do. Especially when it comes to sexuality, teens should be encouraged to explore what they like in safe spaces, ideally off of the internet. When it comes to Hellmaxxing, though, the sins aren't always things we're okay with today.

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