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Viral social media post crosses the line

Posted at 7:18 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 19:18:29-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Social media posts crossing the line from peer pressure to criminal territory. One going as far as warning message about an alleged “National Rape Day”. Tech experts say you can use certain apps to protect your children from posts like this, but the best protection is a simple conversation.

Today teens and adults are overloaded with information on social media. Some of it can be dangerous, or even deadly, like the black-out challenge which allegedly led to the death of 12-year-old Joshua Haileyesus in Colorado earlier this month. Now, there’s another daunting message that’s circulating.

Viral posts are warning about an alleged National Rape Day April 24th.

Master Corporal Phil Mullen with Cape Coral Police Department says someone locally has taken the post to the next level.

“Unfortunately this stretched into a threat that was actually sent to someone,” he said.

Mullen says a resident filed an incident report after they received a text Monday night that said, “April 24th National Rape Day. Watch your back.”

“It’s sort of like the school threats. If you make that threat, it’s going to be taken very seriously, and it’s going to cross the line into criminal territory,” he said.

He says even if they track down who sent it, it’ll be hard to build a case.

Network security engineer with Cigent Technology Evan Lutz says whether the threat is credible or not, make sure your children know what they’re getting into when they long onto those apps.

“It’s really important on that level to make sure that your kids understand the risks and the pressures of social media in today’s day and age,” he said.

He also recommended using apps like Net Nanny which filters what your child does and doesn’t see.

Tiktok reportedly hasn’t found the original post. But, there are ways to fact check the information that is out there. For example, the warning about National Rape Day also throws out statistics.

“97 percent of women are raped or sexually harassed and assaulted,” a user said.

However, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 18 percent of women in the u.s. reported being raped. 97 percent refers to a study in the United Kingdom where 97 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 24 reported some form of sexual harassment or assault.

Mullen says there's no need to stay inside Saturday to avoid an assault. He says use the same level of awareness and protection as you would any other day.