The would-be firestarter told police that he learned the explosive recipe on Generation Z’s favorite social media app
Police in the Israeli city of Haifa arrested a 15-year-old boy with lighters and a Molotov cocktail on Friday. The teen told officers that he made the incendiary device according to a recipe he found on TikTok.
After being taken into custody, the teenager told police that he wanted to see if the homemade bomb recipe would work, and planned on throwing it at a sandy area of a park in the city. Police estimated that the device could have sparked a major fire due to the amount of fuel used, Ynet News reported.
TikTok’s community guidelines ban content that “describes or provides instructional detail on how to perform a dangerous activity,” that contains “instructions on how to make or use weapons that may incite violence,” or that “displays firearms, firearm accessories, ammunition, or explosive weapons.”
Almost all major social media platforms have similar policies on weapons and explosives, although these rules are regularly flouted. In the days and weeks after Russian troops entered Ukraine, instructions proliferated on the manufacture of Molotov cocktails – rebranded as ‘Bandera Smoothies’ after the Ukrainian nationalist leader and war criminal Stepan Bandera.
One of these videos was posted to Facebook by Ukraine’s former Prime Minister, Vladimir Groysman.
Prior to the advent of social media, ‘The Anarchist Cookbook’ was the go-to resource for amateur bombmakers. Published in the US in the 1970s and shared on early internet forums in the 1990s, the book included instructions for homemade weapons, drugs and explosives. Despite numerous reviews by the US Justice Department, FBI, and the White House, the book was not banned in the US due to the First Amendment’s protection of free speech.