Social media challenge encourages teens to go missing
TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (NBC) —
Authorities in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, are warning parents about the "48-hour run away challenge" circulating on social media.
The challenge encourages teens to go missing for up to two days and awards them points each time there is a social media mention about their disappearance.
Outreach is an organization that helps homeless teenagers. The fact that a teenager purposely and willingly would leave a good home to score points and get attention on social media and impress their friends is both insulting and scary to the people there.
"They are playing with things they don't understand," said Jason Chenoweth, the CEO of Outreach Inc.
It provides food, daytime shelter and a variety of services to teens.
Many fled dangerous homes to endure street dangers, kids who leave home for fun can't imagine.
"My biggest fear, they will get out and someone is going to seriously hurt them. They are going to end up in a situation that escalates way faster than they are ready for," Chenoweth said.
The challenge is to disappear for two days, missing teens earn points for the attention they attract on social media.
Police fear the stunts will steal attention and resources from real crimes.
Although parents probably can't keep up with everything kids do on social media, Chenoweth said, "At the very least sit down and talk to them about this case. this is not another ice bucket challenge or some other social media challenge. This has life-changing repercussions to it."