Scott Morrison has put social media companies on notice over a “disgraceful” TikTok video targeting children that includes a shocking clip of a man taking his own life.
Schools across Australia have contacted parents this week warning them to keep their children off TikTok to prevent them stumbling across the vision.
In a new video released on Facebook today, the Prime Minister said the government would act if social media giants did not remove the video and clean up their sites.
“Social media has become, like it or no, part of our modern life,’’ Scott Morrison said.
“It gives us a bit of a laugh, people doing silly dances. Sometimes, they are taking the mickey out of me.
“But there is a serious concern and a serious side with what happens with social media and we saw that with that disgraceful video that was uploaded onto TikTok.”
RELATED: Parents warned about shocking suicide video on TikTok that may be hidden in other content
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister urged TikTok to remove the video of American Ronnie McNutt’s deatth from the platform as soon as possible.
“Now TikTok, I know kids look at it and they have a lot of fun and there’s nothing wrong with that,’’ Mr Morrison said today.
“But those who run these organisations have a responsibility to those who are watching it and particularly when it comes to children.
“The rules in the real world, how you behave in the real world … have to be the same in the social media world. You need to be accountable. You need to be responsible. My government will be doing everything to make sure we hold you to account for that.”
Cybersecurity expert and child safety advocates have warned the graphic video was disguised in innocent looking content such as cat videos.
Suicide Prevention Australia is urging the Morrison Government to legislate a National Suicide Prevention act to bring together a national approach to the issue.
“COVID-19 poses one of the greatest risks to suicide rates in Australia’s modern history. While our end goal must be reducing suicide rates towards zero, our immediate priority must be minimising any risk of them increasing during and after COVID-19,’’ CEO Nieves Murray said.
“The imminent task for us as a nation and community is to take advantage of this momentum and reshape the system to drive down Australia’s suicide rate.
“International evidence shows the best way to achieve this is through a stand-alone National Suicide Prevention Act that embeds a whole of government, not just a mental health, response.”
According to a new survey more than 10 million Australians – or half the adult population – reported personally knowing someone who had died by suicide.