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Terrorist groups often use social media platforms to disseminate hate and extreme violence.  We wanted to let you know that parents around the country are receiving alerts from schools and elected officials over concerns that terrorists plan to disseminate distressing videos, including of hostages, through social media.  These officials are generally urging parents to delete TikTok and Instagram from their children’s devices as a protective measure.

Please know that most major social media platforms, including X, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, and Discord, may be used as weapons of war, spreading graphic violence and hateful messaging.  This is not a concern limited to TikTok and Instagram.  Many platforms already contain graphic, violent videos produced by terrorists.  In the past, we have also seen videos of extreme violence shared through social media messaging-based platforms like Snapchat.  

The Organization for Social Media Safety urges all social media platforms to block or immediately remove any content disseminated directly by a terrorist organization.

Unfortunately, experience has taught us that many social media platforms are unlikely to do so with either the urgency or effectiveness needed to protect our children. Thus, we strongly encourage all parents and caregivers to:
  • Consider pausing children’s social media access to protect their mental health and well-being;
  • Talk with your children about what to do if they come across violent content;  (We strongly recommend teaching your child about blocking and reporting.)
  • Consider third-party safety software, like our endorsed choice, Bark, that can alert you if dangerous content, like extreme violence, is shared on your child’s social media account.

We all have a responsibility to protect our community from the dangers of social media.  This alert is yet another stark reminder that we have much more to do. 

Marc Berkman
CEO, Organization for Social Media Safety

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