B1+ Reading Test
Read the text about the popular app TikTok, and for questions 1 to 6, complete the text with the correct sentences. There is ONE EXTRA SENTENCE that you don’t need to use.
Deadly TikTok challenges
TikTok, the popular app that allows users to create and share short videos, is now the most downloaded app in the world. One of the most popular ways users engage with the app is to carry out challenges. 1 __ A successful challenge will go viral, with hundreds of thousands of people around the world taking part.
Copying another person’s video is hardly original or creative. Even so, it’s easy to see the appeal, especially among young audiences. Anyone with a Smartphone can get involved. 2 __ Users can just ride the trend to gain popularity. As a result, challenges are ideal for people who have a little spare time, enjoy performing and like getting attention. Unsurprisingly, most of those who take part are children, teenagers and young adults.
The problem is that these are the very people who are most at risk from performing challenges. This is because the part of the brain that handles rational thought is not fully developed in humans until we are in our mid-20s. Until then, we are less able to make long-term plans and analyse risk. It’s no secret that the young brain values things that provide a sense of inclusion and popularity. 3 __.
The Tik Tok challenge trend has had severe consequences. In 2020, the ‘skull-breaker’ challenge, which involves two people kicking a third person’s legs to make them fall over, caused teenagers in both the UK and the US to be badly injured. In response, TikTok stated that it did not allow content that encourages dangerous challenges that might lead to injury. 4 __ Any such content on its platform would be removed. Users searching for the skull-breaker challenge would only see a warning about its dangers.
This reaction was clearly not thorough enough because, in 2021, several fatal incidents occurred resulting from another viral challenge on Tiktok, the ‘blackout’ challenge, which encouraged people to choke themselves until they passed out. Three youngsters died from attempting this challenge in January 2021. This was followed later in the year by a number of deaths in the USA and UK. Two of those who died were young girls under the age of ten. 5__
The challenge did not actually originate on TikTok, nor is it the only platform where videos of it have spread. According to a TIME report in 2018, millions of videos of the ‘Pass Out Challenge’ were currently on YouTube. However, where and when the viral trend originated is not known. 6 __ They say that the videos were intentionally and repeatedly pushed onto their children’s feeds, encouraging them to participate. They claim that the company has prioritised corporate profits over the health and safety of its users.
Reading comprehension test
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