DENVER (CBS4)– Thousands of families in the Denver Public Schools received a frightening email on Friday. It warns of a video on the platform TikTok calling for a day dedicated to sexual assault on Saturday, April 24. The hoax is circulating around social media and drawing concern from DPS.
Samuel Jay, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Digital Media at Metro State University, explains the phenomenon.
“We really hope things like information and facts can counter something like this,” Jay said. “I also understand, as a parent myself, the fear and the anxiety that comes from that and having your kids on there.”
TikTok tells CBS4 while videos reacting to the hoax are trending on their platform, they have no evidence of a threat.
The platform released the following statement to CBS4: “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.” -TikTok spokesperson
Jay says the best way to be proactive is to have a conversation with your kids about the dangers of social media and online activity.
“The things that stick are often the things that have the most emotional value, whether that’s for good or for bad,” Jay said. “Those platforms are built that way for a reason, because they want to keep you hooked.”