Facebook is one of the most used social media platforms out there. It enables people to send messages to each other and form online communities through groups, among others. Unfortunately, the social media site is also home to certain hazards, especially for the youth. One such example is the “48-hour challenge.”
Recently, Yahoo Lifestyle reported that a “48-hour challenge” on the mentioned social media platform has been making young people disappear as a form of prank.
The report cited that the challenge makes them disappear for two days straight. The rules of the challenge are as follows:
“A child vanishes for two days, leaving friends and family panicked, and earns ‘points’ for any Facebook updates, shares, comments, or likes regarding their whereabouts. Then, after 48 hours, the child reappears, safe and sound.”
The prank was believed to have been a spinoff of “Game of 72,” a trend that became viral in 2015. It featured the same rules – so to speak – and prompted young people to disappear for 72 hours.
Those who partake in the challenge must be constantly mentioned in social media for them to earn high points. Missing children are then “rewarded” when their parents ask help from the public through Facebook.
The report also quoted a mother from Northern Ireland whose child played the 48-hour challenge. She chose to remain anonymous and stated:
“This is a competition and it’s sick. The anxiety it left our family in is unspeakable. … I was terrified they were dead or would be raped, trafficked or killed. But these kids just think it’s funny.”
“There was not even a moment of remorse when my child was taken into police custody and when the police brought my child home. I could see posts of selfies from the police car.”
She found out that her child was among the top players of the rank. The mother added:
“I’ve been told my child and friends are in the lead in this competition because they managed to vanish for 55 hours before they were discovered. It was just terrifying, and my child, who is 14, doesn’t seem to get it. They need a wake-up call, but I’m worried what that would be.”
As of Oct. 23, 2017, Metro stated that Facebook was now investigating the matter. A spokesperson for the social media platform said:
“The safety of young people on Facebook is a responsibility we take extremely seriously and we are awaiting the links to investigate these reports to ensure we are able to take swift action if it is needed.”
“We work closely with safety experts including the NPSCC, the UK Safer Internet Centre, Missing People, Childnet and many more to help young people have a positive experience on Facebook, and collaborate closely with law enforcement agencies on issues regarding child safety.”
“We encourage people to use the reporting tools available on every page on Facebook if they see content that concerns them, so we can investigate and take action.”
We do hope that the so-called challenge has already stopped as of this writing.
What do you think about this, readers? Have you heard of the 48-hour challenge? Please discourage anyone from playing this sick prank. Let us know your thoughts about it in the comments section below.