A whole hell of a lot of people watched Netflix’s new “Don’t look at the monsters” Sandra Bullock thriller Bird Box, propelling the Susanne Bier-directed horror film to the top of the streaming service’s rankings. (According to Netflix, at least.) Besides being yet another post-apocalyptic feather in the company’s streaming crown, the film has now had yet another grimly predictable consequence, apparently: A whole bunch of people supposedly running around with blindfolds on, hoping to find out if they, too, could survive in the film’s very specific end-of-the-world scenario.
According to a quick perusal of various videos purporting to be good-faith efforts at the “Bird Box Challenge,” the answer to that question is a pretty straightforward “Nope, we’re all doomed.” Although it’s not clear just how epidemic these challenges—which run the ranks from friends pelting their blindfolded buddies with ping-pong balls, to Michael Strahan blindly rubbing lipstick on his fellow Good Morning America anchors’ teeth—actually are, it’s apparently gotten to the point that Netflix has had to ask people to kindly cut it out:
Of course, it’s an open question how much of this whole #BirdBoxChallenge thing is genuine, and how much is Netflix itself stoking those “Oh man, these people!” viral engines. There’s also the part where, you know, visually impaired people actually live and function in society every single day, in a way that is not a “fun” internet meme, and is actually just their lives, which makes this whole thing feel pretty unrelentingly gross.