CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - There's another viral challenge making its rounds after the Tide pod and "Bird Box" challenges. This one, called the "48-hour challenge," encourages teens to 'disappear' for two days.
Chris Padgett, a spokesperson for the Clay County sheriff's Office, said deputies are working legitimate missing persons cases and this challenge could distract from people who actually need help.
“We have these legitimate cases that our, detectives, investigators and deputies and our civilian personnel are working on and many times we calling outside resources to assist us,” Padgett said.
It’s unclear where the challenge originated, but it’s had gotten worldwide attention over the past few weeks. Police warn that faking a disappearance for attention can quickly turn into a serious problem.
“When law enforcement officers then get involved and it becomes a major situation with us because we take these type of cases as top priority,” Padgett said.
Padgett said there can be legal consequences if a bogus missing persons report is filed for someone who's not actually missing, but rather just taking part in the latest viral sensation.
Authorities recommend educating your child on the pitfalls of social media and monitoring how they use social platforms to make sure they're being responsible online.
“The internet is a highway and our cell phones and our mobile devices are like vehicles on the highway," Padgett said. "You wouldn’t toss the keys to your vehicle to your 12-year-old child, but sometimes will give him a phone and not monitor what they’re doing on the internet."
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