Parents demand tighter content censorship. Specialists: The law addressed the phenomenon

TikTok's challenges. Dangerous toys that threaten the safety of children

  • Challenges are a phenomenon coming from outside the country and spreading globally. Archival


Accidents have spread in several countries, recently, due to what is known as «Tik Tok challenges» that aim to perform an experience, photograph it, and then publish it through the application, to prove the ability to perform it, causing deaths of children, and serious injuries to adolescents, up to "quadriplegia".

Parents expressed concern that their children would be seriously injured under the impact of these challenges, calling for tighter control over content provided through the app to protect children.

Specialists and experts attributed the reason for the spread of challenges among young people to the desire to imitate and emulate. They stressed that the UAE law addressed this type of phenomenon.

In detail, the intensity of «trends» for challenges through the application «TikTok» among children, adolescents and young people has escalated, including «Fire Challenge», «Skull Crusher», «Vampire Teeth», «Charlie», «Self-Muzzling», and «Throwing Up», in addition to other challenges that may cause fires and a threat to public health, such as cooking burgers on an iron, cooking hot dogs using a clothes dryer, and cooking pasta in a coffee machine.

The idea of the challenges is to perform different tricks, including dangerous moves, with the use of effects and tools found within the application, in order to get the highest percentage of views.

As challenges spread among school students, a child from outside the country ended his life by hanging inside his home, and his mother revealed at the time that she found a video he was next to about how to use the "game of demons" or the challenge of "Charlie", via the application "TikTok".

The challenge has been widespread since 2015, claiming the lives of many children and adolescents from around the world.

It was followed by the spread of the "self-mute" challenge, which caused disastrous results after being tried among adolescents in more than one way, and the "throw up" challenge, in which a student from outside the country fell victim to "quadriplegia" and fractures in the spine and spinal cord, after being tossed up by his friends.

Dr. Ahmed Al-Zu'bi, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Ajman University, said that the goal of the "challenge" is to collect as many interactions as possible, which will return financial results to the owner of the video. Also, each person of the new generations has a kind of inner emptiness, and seeks to appear different from the traditional style for which his peers are famous, on the basis that life - from his point of view - has become different, and therefore he searches for everything that is new and exciting for inner satisfaction.

Al-Zoubi warned that «some are embarrassed by the failure to implement what is asked of him in front of his peers for fear of calibration, and here lies the danger, as he is keen to perform the challenge alone, in a closed room, which may take his life because there is no one to save him».

He stressed the need to protect our children from "falling into the clutches of this danger by opening channels of dialogue with them, and reviewing their ideas and ambitions, which may be unrealistic at times. Educational authorities also have a great responsibility to create appropriate psychological awareness about everything that is dangerous for children."

He called for the launch of awareness programs during official holidays, "because these phenomena abound in the months of leisure and vacations, but when the student goes to school he does not find time for that, and then schools and clubs should conduct awareness sessions to modify and correct behavior, and immunize the child against these temptations." The educational consultant, Hiam Abu Mashaal, said that the challenges spread on the application «Tik Tok» are based on the idea of implementing specific behaviors, and sharing videos in order to collect millions of views and followers, while children and adolescents seek to compete between them regardless of the result.

She added that «Tik Tok» is a world full of risks resulting from attempts to influence the minds of children and adolescents, adding that a large percentage of them have been subjected to psychological harm, and the consequent emotional and behavioral disorders, as a result of the actions they were exposed to that included a challenge to their abilities.

She explained that «among the challenges are the consequences are dire, in terms of frustration, social isolation and withdrawal behaviors, in addition to moral degradation, as participants resort to performing unacceptable movements in front of the camera, in order to get the largest number of views».

"Legal procedures must be put in place to hide negative manifestations from adolescents and children. There are also many aspects that are far from our authentic Arab values and customs."

Adnan Hamad Al Hammadi, Chairman of the Federal National Council's Education, Culture, Youth, Sports and Media Affairs Committee, said that TikTok is one of the modern applications that are rapidly spreading, and that it is capable of delivering information in an illustrated form, a space that has also been used by many sober content owners.

"The problem is the bad exploitation of the app, and this is true of many social media apps," he said.

He continued: «We have in the UAE a lot of legislation that came into existence in the form of special laws, concerned with these matters and wrong digital practices; the Penal Code addresses this issue, as well as the law on social media», pointing out that «the matter is settled in the state, through our many follow-ups we see that in negative matters, the lowest level of those challenges, the punishment was present and fast, and the summons was quick from the Public Prosecution in the state, and this is an indication that most modern applications are subject to censorship. in the state."

"To limit the spread of this phenomenon coming from outside the state, we must resort to the family, as it is the basic nucleus of society, which requires monitoring these matters, specifically for minor children in their dealings with these means," al-Hammadi said.

He stressed the need to spread education through the institutions concerned in this field, which are many, including the Ministry of Community Development, the content regulation sector in the Ministry of Culture, and the Emirates Media Council, which is the incubator for all media.

For his part, lawyer Mohamed Ibrahim Al-Bastaki said that the person who caused exposing a friend to damage that poses a threat to his life, or up to death, due to the challenges of «Tik Tok», is considered an instigator to commit a crime, pointing out that Article 45 of the Penal Code stipulates that whoever instigated to commit it and signed based on this incitement, or who agreed with others to commit it and signed based on this agreement, or who gave The perpetrator knowingly uses a weapon, machinery or any other object used in the commission of the offence, or knowingly assists the offender in any other way in the acts that are prepared, facilitated or supplemented to the commission of the offence. The responsibility of the accomplice is available, whether he or she communicates directly with the perpetrator or through mediation.

"The law also stipulates that anyone who participates in a crime as a direct accomplice or cause, shall be punished by its penalty unless the law provides otherwise; for example, if young people encourage their colleague to commit suicide, the penalty for the person who attempted suicide shall apply to them," he said.

Article 51 provided that an accomplice, whether direct or causing, was liable to the penalty for the offence actually committed, even if it was not intended to be committed, when the offence committed was a possible consequence of the participation that had taken place.

Al-Bastaki added that the prescribed punishment is according to the crime that resulted in the act, as each act has a different punishment from the other, which applies to the challenges of TikTok.

It is noteworthy that the Executive Director of the Media Regulation Bureau of the Ministry of Culture and Youth, Rashid Al Nuaimi, had held a meeting last May, with the head of the international product policy team at TikTok, Julie de Belliencourt, to discuss encouraging the dissemination of positive content on the platform, and strengthening mechanisms for applying media content standards in force in the country, to all that is published on social media platforms.

The two sides stressed the need to take appropriate measures against the owners of the reported content, which amounts to the closure of the account permanently, which will contribute to reducing abuses, reaching violators, and referring them to the competent authorities in the country.

The challenge of "self-suppression" has caused disastrous results after it spread among adolescents.

Serious challenges are more frequent among students during the months of semester vacation and leisure.

Cook burgers on an iron, hot dogs with a tumble dryer, pasta on the coffee machine. May cause fires.

Participants performing unacceptable movements in front of the camera. Hoping to get the largest number of views.