The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Case Luise (12) from Freudenberg: Expert warns of TikTok and considers it "particularly dangerous"


Bullying via TikTok is said to have played a role in the killing of twelve-year-old Luise in Freudenberg. The network is a quasi-legal vacuum for children, says expert Silke Müller.

Bullying via TikTok is said to have played a role in the killing of twelve-year-old Luise in Freudenberg.

The network is a quasi-legal vacuum for children, says expert Silke Müller.

The headmistress has been worried about TikTok for a long time.

This analysis is available


as part of a cooperation with the Bildung.Table professional briefing -


first published it on March 22,


Killed Luise with multiple knife wounds.

The perpetrators are said to be two of the girl's classmates, themselves twelve and 13 years old.

Since they are not yet of criminal age, the public prosecutor is silent about the exact motives.

According to several media reports, however, bullying via the social media app TikTok is said to have played an important role in the conflict between the young girls.

The killing is a blatant example of the dangers lurking in the digital space and the immense effects they can have.

Principal Silke Müller has been trying to get the risks of social media under control for a long time.

Your forest school in Hatten in Lower Saxony has set up open consultation hours in which students can talk about their experiences on the platforms. The school is considered a pioneer in digital education.

Table.Media newsletter

Get 30 days free access to further exclusive information from the Table.Media Professional Briefings - the decisive for the decisive in business, science, politics, administration and NGOs. 

TikTok feels like a legal vacuum for children

Silke Müller, who published a book on the dangers of social media in early May, considers TikTok to be particularly dangerous.

"Because it grew through the fascination of a generation that hadn't developed any media skills themselves," says Müller.

Adolescents initially made the video portal from the Chinese company ByteDance their own, adults only followed suit later.

In Müller's eyes, this has serious consequences: "The children are alone in what they feel is a legal vacuum.

The possibility of anonymity tempts them to spread things, to implement crude ideas based on crude models, to embarrass people, or to follow stupid trends.” An example of this is the so-called Devious Licks trend, in which young people are accused of property damage or arson film and then post these videos.

Much like under the tip of an iceberg, there is much in the depths of TikTok that adults have no expertise in and where no one moves.

Müller sums it up as follows: There is a risk of going undetected, anonymised and brutalised.

Hardly any more bullying without social media

In general, a space is opening up online “with hate speech, violence, pornography and a new culture of debate that cannot be called culture”.

The influence that so-called social media has on the interpersonal communication of young people has become indispensable.

According to Müller, it is already having an impact on bullying structures: there are hardly any cases of bullying among young people without the networks being involved.

The headmistress sees the schools as having a duty here.

Teachers need to be trained to do this.

However, it is also clear that the responsibility cannot lie with them alone, since the given structures of everyday school life do not offer enough space and time to deal with the use of the networks and the associated dangers in the necessary depth.


Two girls aged 12 and 13 confessed to stabbing Luise to death in a wooded area on March 11.

©Oliver Berg/dpa

Social Media: Parents need to make media consumption safer

It needs interaction with society as a whole;

Above all, the parents must become active.

In order to make media consumption safer, screen time and restrictions on media use are a first step, but they are far from enough.

Parents need to understand what's happening online, learn to see through children's algorithms.

Because the way children and adults use TikTok is very different.

While adults use the app as a "cheerful medium", children and young people are more likely to come into contact with brutalizing content.

It is therefore all the more important that the young people are accompanied and, if in doubt, supported.

The young people could best give an insight themselves, after all, they know their way around digital places like TikTok best.

Above all, adults should offer talks and act as role models.

“We have to take our children by the hand,” says Müller.

"The greatest danger is that we leave them alone." Nevertheless, according to Müller, wanting to solve the problem solely with media competence and resilience is a great utopia that she no longer believes in.

The Luise case shows that a radical solution is needed to protect children

She therefore demands that politicians expand their actions and develop an awareness of the importance and dangers of social media, especially TikTok.

State intervention or regulation by the public could be a solution.

An example of this is the possible upcoming TikTok ban in the USA.

The European Commission decided in February that employees are no longer allowed to use the app on their work cell phones.

Müller does not believe that something like this could happen in Germany.

According to her observations, there is a reluctance to discuss such interventions at all, as they could polarize society greatly.

In particular, education policy must urgently face the debate.

“We can no longer keep up with the quantity of disturbing and potentially criminal content.

No matter how hard network operators try to be compliant, no matter how hard they try to delete and hire people for the ethical area, the mountain below the surface is just getting bigger and bigger,” says Müller.

But selective official measures, such as age restrictions or the obligation to provide users with personal information, will not be enough, says the headmistress.

"Even if that sounds provocative, if we really want to protect children from certain content, there must be a radical solution."

By Anouk Melina Schlung

List of rubrics: © Oliver Berg/dpa

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-03-23

Similar news:

You may like

Trends 24h


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.