The dangerous TikTok “School Shooting Challenge” trending on the social media app has been leading to false active shooter reports. The challenge, which tasks TikTok users with prank-calling schools and police claiming that they will attack schools and students, has been gaining traction since the recent Nashville incident.
FBI responds to TikTok School Shooting Challenge
The FBI has responded to the TikTok School Shooting Challenge trend, explaining that it is aware of the incidents where false reports of an active shooter are being made.
The full statement by the FBI reads:
The FBI is aware of the numerous swatting incidents wherein a report of an active shooter at a school is made. The FBI takes swatting very seriously because it puts innocent people at risk. While we have no information to indicate a specific and credible threat, we will continue to work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to gather, share, and act upon threat information as it comes to our attention. We urge the public to remain vigilant, and report any and all suspicious activity and/or individuals to law enforcement immediately.
To protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation, we’re going to decline further comment
At the time of writing, TikTok videos labeled with “School Shooting Challenge” text appear to be getting deleted relatively quickly. It’s unclear if this is due to mass user reports or whether TikTok itself has found a way to target this content as it gets uploaded.
It should go without saying that hoax calls like this are very dangerous. Not only does it waste police time, but it also puts innocent lives at risk when high-alert police enter an area expecting to find active shooters.