Actor and Jeeto Pakistan host Fahad Mustafa called on parents to keep their children away from TikTok in the wake of a 16-year-old from Sialkot shot dead as a pistol went off while he and his friends were filming a TikTok video this Sunday.
While this is not the first time a young person has lost their life in the pursuit of creating social media content, the incident and others like it clearly indicate individual misuse and engagement in risky behaviour rather than an intrinsic fault with the platform itself — something that knee-jerk reactions like Fahad's fail to recognise. Remember the nearly decade-long YouTube ban?
TikTok is also regularly used to create content considered "meaningful" and important — just see 17-year-old Feroza Aziz’s video raising awareness about Uyghur Muslims, which was disguised as a makeup tutorial and received millions of views across TikTok, Twitter and Instagram.
And it's not like Fahad's own game show Jeeto Pakistan is any less lowbrow either, which regularly features uncomfortable and publicly humiliating "challenges" participants must complete for prizes like gold, motorbikes, appliances and Hajj/Umrah tickets.
Some people reminded Fahad of what happens on his own show.
Some people flipped the script on Fahad.
And then the peak Gen Z response: OK Boomer