Lytham’s Catholic High School, St. Bede’s, is just one of many educational settings warning their students and parents/carers about a viral explicit challenge circulating on TikTok using variations of the hashtag ‘foopah’ (see below).
A play on the phrase ‘faux pas’ (an embarrassing public act), the trend encourages users to upload ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ nudity. This aims to get around the platform’s detection and moderation by being hidden in plain sight. Using screens, mirrors, and other reflective surfaces are just some of the ways people have taken part in the challenge.
The content itself ranges from those who are sharing more obvious sexually explicit content to suggestive but subtle imagery of themselves. The trend also creates an allure for young people who are taking to various platforms to ‘react’ to the challenge or discuss it with others online.
The challenge originated from one TikTok user as a way of promoting her Only Fans account. Her initial video, which included the subtle flashing of her breasts, gathered 2 million views in 24 hours.
As with most inappropriate or banned hashtags, different variations in spelling tend to appear as the platform detects and removes it, prompting the creation of another. The #foopahh hashtag was viewed more than 7 million times, but has since been removed. It was quickly replaced by #foopa which has now over 30 million views.