As the summer season approached Australia and New Zealand, users began sharing videos of their awkward tan lines and intense sunburns in "sunburn challenge" videos.
Other videos encourage suntanning by teaching others how to achieve a perfect summer tan.
But with melanoma being one of the most common cancers in Australia, and the most common in Australians ages 20 to 39 years old, medical experts quickly sprang into action to put a stop to the pro-tanning videos.
“Change the cultural narrative around sunburn and tanning," Professor Georgina Long from the Melanoma Institute Australia said in September, calling on social media platforms and influencers to stop promoting dangerous suntanning habits.
In response, TikTok has banned the hashtag #sunburnchallenge in Australia and begun an anti-tanning campaign.
i brought four bottles to share for NOTHING #skincarebyhyram #sunscreen #spf
“We’ll actively promote the creator content related to the campaign, which means everyone aged between 20 and 39 will see the message,” Lee Hunter TikTok’s general manager in Australia and New Zealand said.
“And everyone who searches for a hashtag related to summer sun, tanning and many other summer time phrases will see the banner and will be provided with information that outlines the dangers of tanning.”
Now, when users search for keywords related to sunburns and tanning, a pop-up banner will appear saying, "Tanning. That's Cooked" and include resources that link to information from the Melanoma Institute Australia.
Melanoma Institute Australia CEO Matthew Browne reminded people that "one Aussie is diagnosed with melanoma every 30 minutes" and "there is no safe way of sun tanning, including the concept of getting a protecting 'base tan' at the start of summer."
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