We’re sharing urgent concerns about conversations happening online on TikTok, about ‘Megan is Missing’, a movie being discussed on social media and shared on YouTube.
Our online safety experts have observed children and young people discussing the movie on TikTok and seeking out the link to the full film which now has over 4million views.
We have reported this video.
What is the issue?
The film ‘Megan is Missing’ has made a revival on TikTok and is appearing on people’s ‘For You Pages’ (this is where users get content on TikTok).
It depicts the online grooming and subsequent abduction, sexual assault and rape of what is represented as a 14-year-old high school student.
The highly distressing content could have a lasting negative impact on children and young people, especially those who have experienced child sexual abuse and exploitation.
TikTok users are posting videos of their reactions to the film, as well as taking part in an online challenge, in which they see how long they can last while watching the most disturbing scenes.
Traffic is being driven to the movie by clickbait comments such asDONT WATCH THIS. This tactic undoubtedly incites the curiosity of younger users.
The complete movie is currently available on YouTube where attempts at age verification are limited and easily circumvented.
It’s unlikely that the children in your care will have seen this content. Therefore, our advice is to sensitively check in with them. Do this by having an open conversation but do not directlymention this movie by name.
Suggest that you’ve heard there is some disturbing content being circulated in an online challenge and ask if they’ve heard of anything like that?
This is the best way to open an indirect conversation that enables the child to talk to you about any concerns without inciting them or their friends to seek out the actual content.
Ensure that children and young people in your care know who they can talk to if they come across something that upsets or distresses them online. (Check out our trusted adult video)
Consider the age and ability of your child alongside the platform they use
Consider talking to your child about harmful content online
Engage your child in a natural way and ask questions to establish how much they know about the topic
It’s best not to approach the subject directly, this will avoid introducing something they may not have otherwise known about.
What advice can you give a child about what to do if they come across something scary or disturbing online. Tell them to:
Stop – what they’re doing and turn off their screen or shut down their device
Breathe – pause and stay calm
Think – try not to focus on what they saw in great detail, and remind themselves that there is no immediate danger to them and that they are safe
Talk – they should find a trusted adult to talk to about what they’ve seen and how they feel
For more information on having supportive conversations click here
For more information on handling harmful content, check out our recent article here