TikTok pranks where social media stars are breaking the law have started to ‘encourage copycats’.
That’s according to Newstalk Tech Correspondent Jess Kelly, who said in recent years, social media videos are starting to go viral for the wrong reasons.
“Over the last number of weeks in the UK in particular, there have been ‘social media stars’ who have fallen foul of the law,” she said.
“They're starting these trends where they're encouraging other people to essentially trespass into people's homes video themselves and capture the reaction.
“They're getting massive views, they're being shared on, and then they're encouraging copycats.”
Jess said the importance of TikTok in terms of influencing young people is now worrying considering these pranks.
“When I walk home from work every evening, you see kids doing the TikTok dances on the side of the road,” she said.
“You see them mirroring the people that they're seeing; you see them trying to build their audiences.
“If these types of pranks are the ways to go viral and to get that interaction, there's absolutely going to be the fear factor there that your child may do it.
“There are young people now whose aspiration is to have one million hits on a TikTok video.”
Combatting the problem
Jess said there is not much social media companies can do to prevent the behaviour.
“The most they can do is put a little warning on videos on the platform for particularly dangerous stunts,” she said.
“In general, a lot of this content doesn't breach any of the terms and conditions.
“If you or your child or somebody that you know is carrying out these activities,” she said, “And they're either illegal – as in they're breaking the law, trespassing or anything like that – or they are so dangerous that you could end up in hospital, you need to have that preventive conversation.”
“It is worth talking to your child, particularly if you've got a young teenager who is obsessed with social media and carries out all the dances, all the crazes, all of the fads – get ahead of it as much as you can.”
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