• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

New Facebook craze panics French parents

The Local · 29 Apr 2015, 13:07

Published: 29 Apr 2015 13:07 GMT+02:00

News of the latest challenge came after a 13-year-old girl from northern France who went missing for three days finally turned up safe and well at her home at  the weekend.
 
The girl, named Emma in the French press, reportedly refused to tell police or her parents where she had been or whom she had been with, but simply said she had taken on a dare through Facebook called '12, 24, 72' or 'Game of 72', as it is also known.
 
The game basically involves daring a friend to go missing for a certain amount of time without giving any news to your family and making sure they end up in a real panic.
 
The Facebook challenge, meanwhile, has left authorities baffled - not least because they've been unable to actually find examples of it online. Rather, they've uncovered plenty of panicked postings from parents who are eager to warn each other about the game.
 
This one below says "Attention Danger!" and warns of "another stupid game doing the rounds on the net". It tells parents to explain to their children that its better to fail the dare rather have "something tragic happen to them."
 
 
Indeed, it appears that a large part of the challenge is to remain secretive about in the act of challenging - and it is only Emma's own testimony that suggests the challenge even exists.
 
One expert, Magali Duwelz, the president of a group fighting against dangerous games for children, told the 20 Minutes newspaper that the Game of 72 could even be more of a hoax than an actual phenomenon. 
 
Nevertheless, authorities have urged parents with any information to get in contact.
 
The fact that officials are taking the incident seriously is perhaps unsurprising given France's troubling history when it comes to dangerous social media crazes.
 
Story continues below…
Late last year, French people flocked to challenge one another via Facebook to throw themselves into rivers or the sea or face the "fine" of buying a meal for the nominator. The craze resulted in tragedy when a teenager drowned after tying his bicycle to his leg before riding into a river.
 
The extremely popular social media game "Neknomination" preceded it, which involved people posting videos of themselves downing alcohol and then nominating others to do the same.
 
France later cracked down on the game, with a set of health reforms given the green light by the National Asssembly this month seeing anyone who incites others to “drink until drunk” risking six months in prison as well as a fine into the thousands.
 

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Saudi princess 'told guard to kill Paris decorator'
Photo: Eurovizion/Flickr

"You have to kill this dog, he doesn't deserve to live," the princess allegedly said.

Paying for sex in France: Has the new law been effective?

Around 40 sex buyers are caught each month across the whole of France. Does that sound like much?

Only in France: 'Drive slowly - grape juice on the roads'
Photo: Rexness/Flickr

You know you're in France when...

France gives lift off to tough new drone laws
Photo: AFP

Time to crack down on drones, say French lawmakers.

Bienvenue en France: France cuts red tape for UK firms
Photo: AFP

France is ready to roll out the red carpet for UK firms quitting Britain because of Brexit fears.

VIDEO: Is life on a French café terrace really this bad?
Photo: Canal Plus

Bird poo, bums and butts: Is life on les terraces really as bad as this?

'Five terror plots thwarted' on Riviera since Nice attack
A police boat patrols the waters off the beach in Nice during the summer. Photo: AFP

Authorities in Nice say five potentially deadly terror plots on the French Riviera have been foiled since the Bastille Day truck attack in the resort.

IN PICTURES
French firefighters calendar to provoke global palpitations
Photo: Fred Goudon

Warning: Some readers may suffer palpitations, sweats or other side-effects when reading this story.

Why Paris beach festival could be sand-free in future
Photo: AFP

Is a beach with no sand still a beach?

Lost without translation: The struggles of Calais migrants
Communication problems in the Calais jungle camp. Photo: AFP

So many languages are spoken in the Calais jungle migrant camp but French is rarely heard.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Culture
The crazy French writing phrases you can't get your head around
Features
Room for improvement: Paris's matchbox apartments
'Stop telling immigrants to be French and help it happen'
Society
Take the test: How far have you assimilated into French culture?
Lifestyle
Eleven things you should know before moving to Paris
National
France's Marion Cotillard rebuffs rumours of fling with Brad Pitt
National
Eight arrested over links to Nice truck attacker
Features
Why everyone should party in a French chateau at least once
Travel
The Frenchman who hated 'Nazi-Zealand' after four-day hitch-hike fail
Culture
What's on: Ten exciting events across France in September
The 45-million year old underground shells that flavour Champagne
Features
French job speak: All the terms you need to know
'Resilient' Paris now a more appealing city than New York
National
France says it's OK to warn drivers about speed cameras
Meet Honorine, 113, the oldest person in France
Education
Grenoble named France's best city to be a student
Society
New Metro map reveals cheapest pints of beer in Paris
Business & Money
How reliant is the French economy on Paris?
Society
Here's why Parisians want to move to Bordeaux
And the 'best place to spend a weekend in Europe' is… Lyon
Analysis & Opinion
'Muslims in France must be considered ordinary citizens'
Armed guards to ride French trains from October
National
France among Europe's priciest for train travel
2,731
jobs available