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By Farnoush Amiri
Police are warning families against the & # 39; 48 -Hour Challenge & # 39; in the hope of deterring teenagers from creating fake tales missing in order to gain ground on social media.
The viral hashtag encourages teens to disappear for up to two days and assigns "points" to each social media entry received during that time.
"We are not trying to cause panic in our community," the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office wrote on its Facebook page on Monday. "But we would not do our job if we did not inform you of a new" challenge "that could become a problem."
Other law enforcement agencies across the country issued similar warnings, but none of them said they had received calls or reported any reports. missing youth.
"We do not know yet that anyone does it and we saw it and we wanted to introduce it to parents," said Wednesday at NBC News, Tippecanoe County Chief Assistant Steve Hartman.
Hartman said the officials wanted to stand out from this trend in case it would become more than a hashtag. He also warned that if information was communicated, it could distract the attention of the agents from the people who really need the help of the police.
"We have enough work to do without kids creating work for us to disappear because they think it's funny," Hartman said.
A similar challenge was also reported in the UK in 2015 under the name "Game of 72", which encourages teens to hide from their parents for long periods of time and earn "points" for their likes or dislikes. on social media.
The Michigan State Police also alerted the public about this game in 2017, after information was released on its trend.
"The only reason we issued a warning was because a local TV channel informed us of the situation, so we responded," said Michigan rider Amy Belanger. Detroit Free Press in 2017. "We have never had an incident reported here." & # 39;