Sick way TikTok video is tricking kids
Warning: Graphic content.
Parents have been warned about a sick video circulating on various social media platforms, including TikTok, that is luring children through the use of cute puppy footage.
While it looks innocent on the surface, embedded within the video is graphic imagery of a man taking his own life.
Several Australian schools have emailed parents warning them of the nature of the video, which was livestreamed on Facebook and is now being widely circulated on other platforms including TikTok and Instagram.
The video was reportedly made by a Mississippi man last week, and has been on Chinese video-sharing app TikTok since Sunday. A spokeswoman told Buzzfeed News it was looking into the matter.
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"We are banning accounts that repeatedly try to upload clips," spokeswoman Hilary McQuaide told the publication.
"Our systems have been automatically detecting and flagging these clips for violating our policies against content that displays, praises, glorifies, or promotes suicide."
Safe on Social CEO Kirra Pendergast sent an alert to 7000 schools on Tuesday, telling ABC News such treatment of videos on social media was not uncommon.
"It's like what we called Elsagate - which was when Elsa from Frozen got some full-on treatment with people posting two minutes into a video some obscene things happening to Elsa," Ms Pendergast said.
"It's a kind of trolling. They're luring kids in with videos of kittens and puppies, then it goes to this very, very graphic video."
Australian charity Acts for Kids urged parents to monitor their children's social media use.
A statement by Executive Director Public Affairs Stephen Beckett said the video could cause "extreme distress" for children who see it.
"Act for Kids encourages parents to talk to their children to determine if they have viewed this content, and limit social media usage until the video has been removed," Mr Beckett said in a statement.
As of Tuesday night there was no reports on whether TikTok had managed to remove the video.
ADVICE FOR PARENTS*
1. Secure household devices by setting passcodes and restrictions on all devices
2. Supervise children online and monitor the material they are accessing
3. Sit down and have an open conversation with your child about the material they may see online
*Courtesy of Act for Kids
Originally published as Sick way TikTok video is tricking kids