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What is the Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge? How did the Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge go Viral?

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What is the Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge

In the digital age, social media trends can quickly take on a life of their own, and sometimes, they venture into dangerous territory. One such viral phenomenon that has made headlines is the Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge. This unsettling trend involves tech-savvy teenagers showcasing car theft exploits for social media fame. In this article, we will delve into the Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge, its origins, its impact on Kia and Hyundai thefts nationwide, and the legal actions taken against the automakers.

What is the Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge?

The Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge is a concerning trend where young individuals, influenced by social media, specifically TikTok, engage in stealing Kia (and Hyundai) cars. The challenge involves using a screwdriver and a USB cord to break into and start the ignition of certain car models. These so-called “Kia Boyz” film their joyrides, perform dangerous stunts, and share the videos online.

The trend has led to real dangers, including accidents resulting in injuries and deaths. Car manufacturers like Kia and Hyundai claim their 2022 models have anti-theft features, while TikTok states that such content violates its policies and will be removed.

How did the Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge go Viral?

The Kia Boyz TikTok challenge went viral due to tech-savvy teenagers posting videos during the COVID-19 pandemic, starting in late 2021. These teenagers, primarily from Milwaukee and Columbus, participated in a social media challenge involving stealing Kias and Hyundais using a specific method. The challenge gained popularity on platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube, showcasing joyrides and reckless driving.

The Kia Boyz are not an organized group but a collective of teenagers using a hack to steal cars for fun, not monetary gain. The ease of stealing these cars is attributed to a security flaw in Kia’s design, allowing access to the steering column with basic tools. The challenge led to a dramatic increase in car thefts, deadly crashes, a class-action lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai, and a $200 million settlement. Social media companies, including TikTok, faced scrutiny for their role in promoting such activities.

TikTok – A Brief Overview

TikTok, created by ByteDance, is a popular short-form video platform where users share videos ranging from 3 to 10 minutes. Launched in China as Douyin in September 2016, TikTok went global in August 2018. It quickly gained immense popularity, surpassing 2 billion mobile downloads worldwide by October 2020. TikTok’s rapid growth made it the third-fastest growing infotech brand in 2020, according to Morning Consult, even outpacing Google in website popularity in 2021, according to Cloudflare.

However, TikTok faced challenges as some governments expressed concerns about its ties to the Chinese Communist Party and potential security risks, leading to attempted bans in various countries. Despite controversies, TikTok’s cultural impact continues to grow globally, with users contributing to the platform’s vibrant and diverse content landscape.

Who Are the Kia Boyz?

The Kia Boyz are a group of individuals, mostly young kids aged 11 to 17, who have gained notoriety on TikTok for their involvement in a disturbing trend of stealing Kia (and Hyundai) cars. This trend started in Milwaukee in 2021 and has since spread across the Midwest and beyond. The Kia Boyz showcase their car theft exploits on social media platforms, performing joyrides, donuts, and dangerous driving maneuvers.

The process of stealing these cars involves exploiting a purported flaw in the product design of certain Kia and Hyundai models. Using a simple set of tools like a screwdriver and a USB cord, individuals claim to be able to break into and start the ignition of these cars within minutes. The trend has raised serious concerns as it poses dangers not only to the Kia Boyz themselves but also to innocent drivers and pedestrians, leading to accidents and even fatalities.

Car manufacturers like Kia and Hyundai have responded by emphasizing existing anti-theft features in their newer models, and TikTok has stated that the trend violates its policies, promising to remove related content.

What is the Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge – FAQs

  1. What is the Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge?
    The Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge is a troubling trend where individuals steal Kia and Hyundai cars using a screwdriver and a USB cord, showcasing their exploits on social media.
  2. How did the Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge go viral?
    The challenge gained traction on TikTok during the COVID-19 pandemic, with tech-savvy teens from Milwaukee and Columbus showcasing car thefts for online fame.
  3. Who are the Kia Boyz?
    The Kia Boyz are a group of mostly young individuals, aged 11 to 17, known for participating in the TikTok challenge involving stealing and joyriding in Kia and Hyundai cars.
  4. What dangers are associated with the Kia Boyz Challenge?
    The challenge has resulted in real dangers, including accidents, injuries, and deaths, as participants engage in reckless driving and share videos of their exploits online.
  5. What anti-theft measures have car manufacturers taken?
    Car manufacturers like Kia and Hyundai have introduced anti-theft features in their 2022 models, including immobilizers, to prevent unauthorized access and theft.

In conclusion, the Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge is a disturbing trend that has captured the attention of both social media users and car manufacturers. While it may have started as a reckless online challenge, it has had real-world consequences, including accidents and legal actions against automakers. It serves as a reminder of the power and influence of social media on the actions of young individuals and the responsibilities that platforms like TikTok bear in regulating such content.

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