Photo: Olivier Douliery / AFP / Getty Images
The TikTok viral threat known as “December 17” that went viral in recent days triggered the arrest of at least a dozen students between Thursday and Friday across the United States, according to local officials and reports, informó Fox News.
Across the country, students made unverified threats against schools mainly on TikTok for Friday through the challenge known as “December 17”But they also proliferated on Snapchat and Instagram, forcing some schools to take action by preemptively suspending their classes.
Many of the young people who were placed under the order of the authorities studied in schools in Miramar, Florida; Palm Coast, Florida; Frederick, Maryland; Naugatuck, Connecticut; Watsonville, California; Lake Geneva, Wisconsin; Wyoming, Ohio, and other cities, according to local law enforcement departments.
The arrests in Palm Coast, Frederick and Watsonville corresponded to cases of 13-year-olds who shared threats on social media. The arrest in Miramar was due to the fact that a 16-year-old boy allegedly brought a firearm to his school, and a 14-year-old minor from the city of Wyoming, Ohio, was arrested for making direct threats in his city, according to information from FOX19 Cincinnati.
Meanwhile, the teenager arrested in Watsonville made direct shooting threats on Instagram on Thursday, and police are handling the thesis that they were related to the viralized trend on TikTok.
More cases related to the “December 17” threat led to arrests in Florida, specifically in Lee County, when three teenagers made threats Thursday to shoot and bomb their respective schools.
Other similar arrests took place Friday in Frisco, Texas; Loris, South Carolina and Woonsocket, Rhode Island, while investigations are ongoing in Aurora, Illinois, Fox News reported.
Most of these threats that led to arrests were created on anonymous accounts on social media or other apps and come weeks after a mass shooting rocked Oxford, Michigan, high school, where four students were killed and seven others were injured.
“We handle even rumors of threats with the utmost seriousness, which is why we are working with law enforcement agencies to investigate warnings about possible acts of violence in schools, although we have found no evidence that such threats originate or spread to through TikTok, ”the platform reported in a statement published on Thursday.
The platform stated that it has been in communication with local authorities such as the FBI and DHS, adding that officials confirmed there was no credible threat.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.