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- "National Rape Day" is a viral hoax that traces back to at least April 2021, when social media users responded to a rumor that six men were calling for April 24 to be a day of sexual violence.
A rumor about "National Rape Day" happening on April 24 is disturbing, but the strongest evidence suggests it is a yearslong social media hoax.
The rumor emerged in TikTok videos two years ago. It warned that on April 24, a group of men will sexually assault women and girls.
Ahead of April 24, 2023, some people on TikTok and Twitter perpetuated the claim with what looked like well-intended warnings for others to be safe, especially teenagers.
"Parents- be aware that teens are calling this April 24 ‘National Rape Day,’ and they are on TikTok to encourage teens to sexually assault someone today," a Twitter user wrote.
Here’s what we know about how this started and why the rumored threat of widespread violence against women on April 24 isn’t credible.
The rumor comes back to an alleged TikTok video featuring six men in 2021 — though it’s unclear whether such a video was ever real. A TikTok spokesperson told USA Today in April 2021 that the company could not find evidence that the video existed, and if it did, it would violate standards because it glorifies sexual assault.
PolitiFact also could not find evidence that a video with that description existed. We did find that TikTok users stitched, or responded to, part of a similar video in April 2021. The brief clip showed three people in masks and gloves issuing a warning against women: "Females You Have Been Warned. Y’all Have Clowned Us For Too Long." However, that clip does not include the words "National Rape Day" or April 24, and the full video has been removed from the platform.
Vice News in 2021 was also unable to confirm an original video. Vice put it this way:
"What happened seems to be increasingly routine on the app: a provocative hoax appeared on a few people’s timelines. Users reacted to it in anger, then other people reacted to the reactions and more people reacted to people reacting to the reactions. With the OG (original) clip either nonexistent or deleted, the only thing left was a bunch of fear-mongering videos with no original source or people to hold accountable."
Fact-checkers at Snopes found that claims of a National Rape Day came before 2021. Urban Dictionary, a website on which people post definitions of slang words, showed a May 26, 2018, post about the term on its site, describing April 24 as "the day when it’s legal to rape people!" Snopes reported that Urban Dictionary deleted the entry.
We find no evidence to substantiate the claim that men are coordinated in an effort to sexually assault women on April 24.
We rate this claim False.
TikTok post, April 23, 2023
Twitter post, April 24, 2023
USA Today, Fact check: Viral TikTok trends surrounding warning of sexual assault on April 24 are unsubstantiated, April 19, 2021
TikTok post, April 19, 2021
Vice News, How the ‘National Rape Day’ Hoax Went Viral On TikTok, April 28, 2021
Snopes, 'National Rape Day' Warnings Circulate on TikTok, April 19, 2021
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