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No Shootings After TikTok 'Shoot Up Your School Day Panic'

Jake Massey

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| Last updated 

No Shootings After TikTok 'Shoot Up Your School Day Panic'

There were no school shootings in the US on Friday (17 November) despite rumours on TikTok about a 'national shoot up your school day'.

There was tension across the nation about the vague threats, and schools in at least six districts - from New York to Montana - even closed for the day, according to The New York Times.

Thankfully, the threats didn't prove to be credible.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and TikTok all conducted investigations into the rumours in advance of Friday and found no credible threat.

TikTok said it couldn't find any direct threats. Credit: Alamy
TikTok said it couldn't find any direct threats. Credit: Alamy

As is often the way with disinformation on social media, the exact origin of the rumour is difficult to pinpoint, and TikTok said it couldn't find any direct threats on the platform - only people discussing it.

In a statement shared on Friday, the platform said: "We've exhaustively searched for content that promotes violence at schools today, but have still found nothing. What we find are videos discussing this rumor and warning others to stay safe.

"Local authorities, the FBI, and DHS have confirmed there's no credible threat, so we're working to remove alarmist warnings that violate our misinformation policy.

"If we did find promotion of violence on our platform, we'd remove and report it to law enforcement."

While the threats may have been baseless, they still prompted authorities to be on high alert, due to fears that viral talk of such a threat could inspire unstable individuals to carry out an actual attack.

A federal law enforcement source told CNN: "This is an illustration of how social media and other communication platforms play a role in spreading threat related narratives, which then can result in the need for escalated security measures in and around parts our critical infrastructure."

On 30 November, four students were killed and more were injured in a shooting at at Oxford High School, in Michigan.

Ethan Crumbley, 15, was charged as an adult with murder and terrorism, and parents James and Jennifer Crumbley were charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald accused the couple of failing to intervene on the day of the shooting despite being confronted with a drawing and a chilling message - 'blood everywhere' - found at their son's school desk.

The parents went on the run after the charges were announced. Credit: Oakland County Sheriff’s Department
The parents went on the run after the charges were announced. Credit: Oakland County Sheriff’s Department

The prosecutor said the parents committed 'egregious' acts, from buying a gun on Black Friday and making it available to their son, to resisting his removal from school when they were summoned a few hours before the shooting.

The parents - who have pleaded not guilty - were arrested on 4 December, hiding in a commercial building in Detroit hours after charges were announced.

They remain in prison, apparently unable to pay bonds of $500,000 each.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: US News, TikTok, Viral

Jake Massey
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