Illinois school districts ramped up security — and some closed — in response to a viral TikTok trend warning of potential violence on Friday (December 17), joining municipalities across the country in the effort to keep schools safe.
TikTok said in a statement on Twitter on Thursday (December 16): “We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we're working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok.”
The social media platform added Friday:
“Update: 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.
“Media reports have been widespread and based on rumors rather than facts, and we are deeply concerned that the proliferation of local media reports on an alleged trend that has not been found on the platform could end up inspiring real world harm.
“We understand it can be difficult to know how to assess viral warnings online. We have a guide on our Safety Center to help people assess this kind of content.”