TikTok Challenge closes schools in the US: what's going on

A spate of school shootings on TikTok and other social media platforms has forced some schools in the US to close on December 16, while others have increased the police presence. Bloomberg spoke about this in more detail.

Due to TikTok -challenge schools are closing in the USA: what is happening

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As a rule, threats are not mentioned specific schools, and local and federal authorities said many were not credible. However, the threats included the date & # 8211; December 17, and schools in Michigan, Washington, and other states have temporarily left their children at home. Many videos show textual warnings about an explosion or shooting, without specifying schools, neighborhoods, or even states.

There have been nine school shootings and 235 so-called inactive shooting incidents this year, according to the Center for National Defense and Security, and counties and law enforcement say they take every warning seriously.

No known threats

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said that while” there are no known specific threats, “he told the attorney general about the reports staff and security personnel.

“We will work closely with law enforcement to monitor the situation and be prepared,” & # 8211; Murphy noticed.

Schools in Michigan, where the boy killed four students in late November, have closed all buildings amid new gunfire threats. Seattle police launched an investigation into two schools and closed one after officers reported the threats on social media.

Thuel County, Utah said the trend appeared on TikTok as an option not to go to school. They said it spread to other internet platforms such as Instagram and Facebook “and turned into something much more worrisome.”

Educational institutions in the New York. Pelham Community School in Westchester County has moved classes online due to such threats.

According to a press release on the department's Facebook page, in Glenview, Illinois, police found shooting and bombing threats disseminated on social media unreliable.

The Glenview School District is operating normally, but There are more police than usual.

Ashley Gonzalez, police chief for the Austin Independent School District in Texas, sent a letter to schools on December 17 warning of a “vague” shooting threat.

“These threats do not in any way affect any school in Austin and are considered part of a nationwide trend, & # 8211; noticed Gonzalez, who nevertheless planned to improve security. & # 8211; Unfortunately, we are seeing a tendency to repost messages that are not related to our city, neighborhood or schools, and many of the threats end up being hoaxes. ”

Problematic content

TikTok, owned by ByteDance Ltd., is among several social media sites criticized for spreading malicious videos, especially among children. This year, teachers urged the company to intervene in a TikTok challenge to slap teachers.

“This is not the first alarming 'problem' aimed at students, teachers, and the institution in general. which applies to TikTok, & # 8211; said Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association & # 8211; union representing 3 million teachers. & # 8211; Threats and social media trends like these are very unsettling and not funny in any way. ”

This week, TikTok announced it would change its algorithm to reduce problematic content. The tech company, whose app has over 1 billion users, said it is working with law enforcement to eliminate gunfire threats.

“We take even perceived threats seriously, so we work with law enforcement authorities over warnings about possible violence in schools “, & # 8211; the company said in a statement.