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Lakeriya McNeil’s mother said her daughter left her home in Memphis, Tennessee, on Saturday morning with a girl she met on the app, one adult male, and one adult female.
Memphis Police said McNeil willingly left with the group, and McNeil’s mother said they left in a white car. For hours, her mother was unable to contact her. She was found unharmed later on that day.
In the past, the popular short-form video app has come under scrutiny for not having restrictions in place for its underage users. In July, the U.K. launched an investigation on how the app, with more than a billion monthly users, mishandles children’s data.
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Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque