Though best known for lip-syncing videos and cute dance routines, TikTok has a darker side, something that has been revealed once again as hysteria sweeps the social media platform over fears April 24 has been linked to a proposed “National Rape Day”.
Coinciding with America observing Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, it is believed a group of six men recently created a TikTok video in which they encouraged others to commit sexual assaults on April 24.
There is little information or evidence around this original post, but that hasn’t stopped TikTok users sharing their fears and urging women to be careful if they venture outside on this date, with more than 30 million posts including the hashtag #April24.
The furore soon spread to other social media platforms, adding to the hysteria.
When leading Australian cyber safety expert Jordan Foster became aware of this worrying viral trend, she began doing her own investigating.
She told The West Live fears of a National Rape Day had taken hold among Australian TikTok users, too.
“It’s been quite disturbing over the past few days on TikTok,” she said.
“We’re seeing a bit of this mass hysteria, like we saw with the MoMo challenge a few years ago, it’s certainly concerning but I don’t think in the way the public might see it.”
Foster, like other experts, doesn’t believe there is a legitimate threat of anyone actually carrying out sexual assaults on April 24; however, there were negative effects associated with the level of hysteria around the issue.
As the old saying goes, the only thing to fear might be fear itself.
Responding to US media queries, TikTok released the following statement:
“The supposed ‘National Rape Day’ trend being reported upon is abhorrent and would be a direct violation of our Community Guidelines, and while we haven’t seen evidence of this trending on our platform, our safety team remains vigilant and would remove any such content.”
Listen to the full interview with Jordan Foster at The West Live link above.