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Reality suicide video on social media

You have no doubt been made aware of a distressing and disturbing reality suicide video being shared online.  This video is being shared as a stand-alone video and it has also been reported that the video is being imbedded into other videos, some of these targeted specifically to children.

This issue has been heavily publicised and awareness is high.  The chances are in several days the publicity will wain whereas the risk will remain. Basic parental strategies and actively reporting incidents can reduce risk dramatically.

Please share the following issued by the eSafety Commissioner and the National Suicide Prevention Adviser –

JOINT STATEMENT REGARDING SUICIDE DEATH VIDEO ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Where is it appearing

This video could potentially be posted/shared for access by others on any platform including but not limited to websites, social media sites or video content sharing sites.  Common programs used by children where this video could appear include:

  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Youtube
  • Youtube for Kids

Please be aware, it is possible that through messaging in online gaming a child may be directed to the video on a different site.

How is it being managed?

The vast majority of online platforms do not moderate content until it is uploaded by users therefor it is only removed when it is tagged by the company as breaching policy. Please inform your community it is vital to report known instances.

The content is being removed as a result of:

  • Having been flagged by the platform
  • Complaints from the public
  • Complaints from the public via the eSafety Commission

Also remember there are online platforms that may not remove the content even when they are made aware as they do not operate under a moral or ethical code.

How long will it be out there?

It is here to stay, in some form.  It will be a consideration now and into the future.  History has shown though, that after the initial impact, the prevalence does dissipate thus reducing the risk of exposure.

What to do now and in the future to prevent

Parents and carers now need to be especially vigilant.

We recommend never leaving young children alone with a device. If you do allow them to enjoy some online content, please watch with them. There is no way of knowing what platforms algorithms will serve up – it’s up to you to moderate.

Secondly, if you do come across any content of this kind, report and flag immediately.

Advice is to report to the platform (eg TikToc) and to the eSafety Commission at https://www.esafety.gov.au/report/illegal-harmful-content

Thirdly, consider using monitoring software to manage time online, apps being accessed and to also filter inappropriate websites.

Finally – and most importantly – make sure to talk to the children in your care about the things they are doing online. Communication is by far the best defence against these sorts of trends. Create an environment of openness about technology and discuss it regularly.

REMEMBER

  • Don’t panic
  • Report to social media platform
  • Report to eSafety
  • Talk to your child
  • You have a right to manage technology which includes temporarily removing access