Wednesday, January 22, 2020

"This video is a concern and similar to past viral videos that encourage unsafe behavior"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The state fire marshal on Tuesday put all Massachusetts fire chiefs on alert that his office has already received reports of two instances in which teens trying to re-create a viral video have caused electrical system damage or fire.

Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said a video that’s gained attention on the TikTok app has encouraged teens to partially insert the plug part of a phone charger into a wall outlet and then slide a penny down the wall to make contact with the two exposed prongs.

“The result is sparks, electrical system damage, and in some cases fire,” the fire marshal said in a memo to fire officials around the state. “This video is a concern and similar to past viral videos that encourage unsafe behavior. You might reach out to local news outlets, school officials, and parent organizations. Alert them to this challenge, advise them to, not only look for signs of fire play like scorched outlets, but to have conversations about fire and electrical safety with tweens and teenagers.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Editor's note:
Readers may recall that the Franklin School District dealt with a video also shared via TikTok recently. This app should not be on personal phones, especially those of our youth.
The app has been banned by the US Army, US Navy and other Defense Dept organizations are likely to follow suit. It is developed by a Chinese company and determined to have "potential security risks"
Why ban the app?
"As of mid-December, the Army began advising soldiers to stop using TikToK on all government-owned phones, Ochoa said. The U.S. Navy recently put out similar guidance, prohibiting the use of TiKTok on government phones, according to reports by Gizmodo and other publications.

The policy reversal on TikTok comes after the release of a Dec. 16 Defense Department Cyber Awareness Message identifying "TikTok as having potential security risks associated with its use," according to the message.

The guidance directs all Defense Department employees to "be wary of applications you download, monitor your phones for unusual and unsolicited texts etc., and delete them immediately and uninstall TikTok to circumvent any exposure of personal information."

Link to article on US Army ban of app

NY Times article on this Defense Dept action to ban the app

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