If you are somewhat acquainted with TikTok and other social media platforms, you are probably aware of certain trendy (and often weird) challenges that go viral as they are performed and filmed by millions of users. One such dangerous act was the "outlet challenge" that broke out last year. In this, a person needed to plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, and then touch a penny to the exposed prongs. (via NBCBoston).
Unfortunately, Amazon's Alexa picked it up while scouring the web and proposed this challenge to a 10-year-old kid, writes the child's mother, Kristin Livdahk, on Twitter.
OMFG My 10 year old just asked Alexa on our Echo for a challenge and this is what she said. pic.twitter.com/HgGgrLbdS8— Kristin Livdahl (@klivdahl) December 26, 2021
Here’s something I found on the web. According to ourcommunitynow.com: The challenge is simple: plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs
Amazon was quick to respond on the matter and replied directly on the Twitter post.
Hi there. We're sorry to hear this! Please reach out to us directly via the following link so that we can look into this further with you: https://t.co/YlLYrTtGzy. We hope this helps. -Daragh— Amazon Help (@AmazonHelp) December 27, 2021
The issue has now been fixed according to a statement the company offered to media outlet indy100:
Customer trust is at the center of everything we do and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers. As soon as we became aware of this error, we took swift action to fix it.
Incidents like these demonstrate the potential dangers of what non-curated aggregation of internet information can mean to users. Thankfully the child's parent was present close by or else the situation could have turned ugly.