KEY POINTS

  • The George Floyd Challenge is going viral on social media, allegedly started by white teenagers
  • Netizens would post photos of themselves pinning their knee on someone as part of the challenge
  • Some arrests have been made in the U.K. while other cases are under investigation

Social media is bustling with a new trend called the "George Floyd Challenge." Still, it is drawing yet another wave of protests online for being "disrespectful and heartless," leading to the arrests of some of its participants.

Allegedly started by white teenagers in the U.K., the challenge mocks the unjust death of Floyd, the black American who was killed under police custody. Social media users reportedly pose photos of themselves as they pin their knee on a friend or a relative's neck, depicting the way Floyd lost his life at the mercy of the police.

The online challenge has been condemned by some netizens, but more participants continue to share their photos.

According to the New York Post, three teenage kids were arrested by the Northumbria Police Sunday (May 31) after sharing photos for the George Floyd Challenge on the online platform Snapchat. The boys' account has since been taken down, but not before their post has been re-shared on other platforms.

In a press statement, the cops said that the boys, who are between 18 to 19 years old, were arrested for “suspicion of sending communications causing anxiety and distress."

"We understand that this is social media post has caused significant upset and we want to reassure the public it is being investigated robustly and is being treated as a hate crime,” the police said.

But it's not just teenagers who are doing the George Floyd Challenge. Workers from the Shade Tree Construction in Minnesota were fired from their jobs after they posted photos re-enacting Floyd's death. The family-run business posted an apology on their official site and Facebook page for the way their workers, who included the owner's son, behaved.

"It was truly insensitive and offensive, not just to the family of George Floyd, but all people," Mark Strandlund, the owner of Shade Tree Construction, posted on Facebook. "This behavior is not condoned by me, my family, or my company. I know that words only go so far, but please be assured that this is not being taken lightly. It is being dealt with on a personal and professional level to ensure moving forward it will not be repeated, and lessons will be learned from this experience."

George Floyd Mural A mural in Berlin honors George Floyd, a black man whose killing in Minneapolis by a white police officer unleashed protests across the United States Photo: AFP / David GANNON

In Scotland, a 26-year-old male is also under investigation after his photo mocking Floyd’s death was making rounds on social media. A school in Ohio is searching for the students who posted their contribution to the challenge on Instagram.

Reports stated that monitors of social media are cracking down on the challenge and deleting posts with the hashtag. Some searches for the George Floyd Challenge won't also show up on the platforms.