Kids Cyber Safety Alert Following Distressing Social Media Video

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A distressing live-stream video that emerged out of the USA on Sunday has sparked a worldwide social media alert, with the Australian eSafety Commissioner notifying schools about the alarming video and encouraging parents to keep their children off devices.

While the Mississippi man who began the viral video devastatingly live-streamed his own suicide on Facebook, it has now been shared among multiple platforms including Tik-Tok, which is wildly popular with tweens and teens. The video has since been copied and shared by trolls, and inserted into innocuous footage such as cute puppies and kittens to lure children into unwittingly watching it.

The video is said to be deeply traumatic and distressing and could have a lasting psychological impact on children that are exposed to it. 

Leading Australian psychologist, author and ‘Parenting Expert’, Dr Justin Coulson, recorded this video in the aftermath of the viral video giving advice if your kids have seen the Tik Tok suicide.

Act for Kids, an Australian charity that aims to prevent the mistreatment of children has urged all parents to be vigilant with their family's social media use and offered this advice to try and protect them from exposure to unsafe content.

  • Secure household devices by setting passcodes and restrictions on all devices
  • Supervise children online and monitor the material they are accessing
  • Sit down and have an open conversation with your child about the material they may see online

eSaftety encourages anyone who sees the footage to report it. The government-run cyber safety initiative has contacted social media companies regarding the reports and is working with them to monitor the situation. Find out how to report illegal and harmful content.

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