French education officials have condemned an online bullying trend targeting children born in 2010.
The #Anti2010 trend has gained momentum over the past month on the video sharing app TikTok.
Millions of people have viewed the site’s posts, which encourage users to form a “anti-2010 police force.”
Jean-Michel Blanquer, Minister of Education, described the cyber-harassment campaign as “completely stupid and against our values.”
It has sparked particular concern among parents because it targets 11-year-old children as they begin secondary school. It has been reported that it has moved offline and into the playground.
Mr. Blanquer warned that any student who participated in such bullying would face punishment, and he encouraged families to report cases of harassment to an emergency hotline.
“It’s an essential part of school life, giving sixth-grade students a warm welcome and integrating them through the generosity of classmates and adults,” he wrote in a letter to principals, urging them to be on high alert for the problem.
The education ministry stated in a tweet that “harassment and cyberstalking have no place in our school or society.”
The precise origins of the bullying trend are unknown.
According to some French reports, it appears to be related to the popular video game Fortnite. Younger gamers were reportedly accused of violating an unwritten code of conduct, while older players dubbed them “Fortkids.”
The bullying became more intense following the release last month of a song called Pop it Mania, in which young influencer Pink Lily sings, “We are the queens of 2010.” The video has received 400,000 dislikes on YouTube, with some older children using it as an excuse to target those born in that year.
“In the courtyard, they point the finger at us, shouting 2010! 2010!” one student told the French newspaper Le Parisien, adding that more serious incidents, such as fights, have also occurred.
The main federation of school parents has urged the government to create a new child protection policy on social media, claiming that it is “unacceptable that children are victims of an appeal to hatred.”