Suicide video warning: Know what your kids are doing online

Two-thirds of parents are failing to monitor their kids online, prompting child safety experts to plead for vigilance as an "extremely graphic" suicide video circulates on social network TikTok.

The disturbing footage of a man taking his life is still being widely shared on the Chinese platform after first streaming live on Facebook.

Act for Kids, a leading charity working to prevent abuse and neglect, said most parents were allowing children unfiltered access to online content, with potentially disastrous consequences.

Spokesman Stephen Beckett said the charity's research showed some 66 per cent of parents did not set passcodes or restrictions on screening devices in the home, while half gave their children unsupervised access online.

"The video of suicide by gunshot is extremely graphic and may cause extreme distress for children who see it," Mr Beckett said.

He advised parents to talk to their children to find out if they had viewed it and to limit social media usage until the offensive video had been removed.

With suicide the leading killer of young Australians age 15-24, parents are being urged to ramp up their supervision.

It comes as schools warn teen suicide has become an "epidemic" and mental health organisations tip a rise of 30 per cent due to the impact of COVID-19.

Cyber safety expert Susan McLean has asked parents to keep older teenagers off the TikTok app and warns the suicide video also is being hidden behind videos of cats.

A TikTok spokeswoman said the network had been trying to remove the video.


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