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Shooting threat on TikTok

Date: 20 December 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Anonymous shooting and bomb threats have appeared on TikTok, forcing schools to cancel classes and increase presence of police on campus.

 

Background

States such as California, Texas, Minnesota, and Missouri have shut down schools whereas Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York and Pennsylvania have increased security for students and teachers.

 

Details

  • The threat appeared on the video sharing platform on the back of several shooting incidents in states like Michigan.

  • About four students were killed and six others injured after a teen student open fired in school. The incidents of shooting have increased in recent times.

 

The threat

  • Initial investigations revealed that many threats were hoax and actually there was no proof of its origination.

  • The police were able to identify certain individuals who had posted the threatening message. They were declared as not a “credible threat”. 

 

Response

TikTok denied that threats were delivered via the video-sharing social networking platform and instead said that they were rumors.

 

Liability

  • Section 230 of the US Communications Decency Act of 1996 does not make internet companies liable for content posted by users on their platforms.

  • Several lawmakers have asked the video-sharing social networking platform to take down videos that contain harmful content.