A Derry Councillor has issued a warning to local parents over a “sick” game being played out on Facebook which involves people disappearing without a word.
Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly was speaking after reports that the ‘Missing Game’ has spread to the north-west.
The PSNI meanwhile have warned young people about the consequences of such “reckless” behaviour.
Sinn Féin councillor Colly Kelly said yesterday that as a parent of a young child himself, he found such crazes deeply worrying.
“Those behind peddling and creating such games are very sick individuals and all parents in our city need to know what is going on here,” Colr. Kelly said.
“This is really worrying and follows a pattern in recent years of similar types of things happening on social media which is creating dangers for particularly young vulnerable children and teenagers.
“The way this latest craze works it dares or encourages a youngster to go missing for the ‘48-Hour Challenge’. The longer they stay missing and the more coverage and likes they get on social media they are told the bigger so-called score they get.”
Colr. Kelly said that this was the latest in a string of serious and in some cases even deadly crazes spread through social media and the internet.
“It’s important that we always keep parents aware of the dark side of the internet and to be alert to any warning signs of these dangerous crazes and to seek help for any young person caught up in them.”
Speaking about the Missing Game, PSNI Service Lead for Missing People Superintendent Sean Wright said: “People who take part in this reckless activity are not only placing themselves at risk but they are diverting limited police resources from other potentially lifesaving incidents.
“This is not a game and so we urge children not to be coaxed or coerced into taking part in such dangerous activity.
“We ask parents to discuss such matters openly with their children and to dissuade them from becoming involved in such thoughtless and dangerous behaviour.”