Last Updated on 9th December 2021
Yesterday, Newsweek reported that TikTok users were warning each other that a group of men had been discussing the 24th of April as a national day of carrying out rape and sexual assault.
This worrying online trend was reportedly started by a group of up to six men who claimed that all sexual assault was legal on this day, while encouraging their followers to commit these crimes.
Several other news outlets have begun to report on the story and many TikTok users have responded by producing videos to warn and advise others to be vigilant on the day.
We had an in-depth look at these rumours and found no contemporary evidence to support them. What we did find, however, was a significant number of videos, warnings and commentary being posted in response to the rumours.
As experts on the online environment, we know that online chatter can feed these rumours and enhance their viral distribution.
Given the fact that young people may hear this rumour and not know whether it is true, we think it’s important that parents, carers and safeguarding professionals understand the following issues.
- Sticking to busy well–lit areas
- Staying in the company of a friend/s
- Arranging a lift with parents or carers or a pre–planned taxi from a reputable firm.
Join our Safeguarding Hub Newsletter Network
Members of our network receive weekly updates on the trends, risks and threats to children and young people online.