Horror moment my son stumbled upon suicide video
I NEVER thought my child would see a shooting in his own living room.
And yet this afternoon, as I stood just metres away making snacks in the kitchen, that's exactly what happened.
"Mum!" I heard the quavering voice call out to me.
I looked over to see my son, face as white as a ghost and hands shaking.
"Can you talk to me in my room?"
I dropped what I was doing and, putting my arm around him, walked him to his bedroom, closing the door behind us so his sister wouldn't hear.
"I just saw something really scary on TikTok," he said, and then burst into inconsolable tears.
As I worked out what he was saying, I was just in shock.
He had witnessed a horrific suicide video, interspersed between his usual feed of trampoline tricks and special effects.
There was no link that he clicked, no algorithm he had created, it just appeared on his screen, mid-scroll. And by the time he realised what had happened, the damage was done.
He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, especially since he rarely even uses that app (unlike his sister, lest you think I'm pretending to be a perfect parent).
Instead, I feel like the worst parent. All these years I've spent protecting my children from the big bad world and the worst thing they could possibly see happens in front of me in my own home.
My son has not been able to be alone since seeing that video and I've contacted a trauma counsellor to help him process what he has seen - which, as they say, can never be unseen.
So parents, I know we're warned about trolls and scams all the time, but this one is not a drill.
Keep your kids off social media until we know it's safe again. Or as safe as it ever can be.
And let my son's horrific experience at least save you this pain.
EARLIER: WARNING SENT TO PARENTS BY GOLD COAST SCHOOLS
GOLD COAST schools have sent a warning to parents this morning over a graphic video circulating on major social media platforms.
A live suicide by shotgun has been streaming on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok today and is yet to be taken down.
It has also been reported by schools that the violent content is being inserted into videos of puppies and kittens to lure children into watching it.
In a warning to the school community Principal of Guardian Angels Catholic Primary School in Ashmore advised parents to keep children offline today.
"We strongly recommend keeping your children offline today if possible, and heavily supervise all social media interactions until this content is removed," the email to parents read.
"Check with your children to determine if they have viewed this clip. They are likely to be extremely distressed."
In a response to Newscorp a TikTok spokeswoman confirmed that "clips of a suicide that had been livestreamed on Facebook" began circulating on its network yesterday, and the company was trying to remove it from the platform.
"Our systems have been automatically detecting and flagging these clips for violating our policies against content that displays, praises, glorifies, or promotes suicide," she said.
For help with emotional difficulties, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au
Originally published as Horror moment my son stumbled upon suicide video