IT WAS a full-on, blood-runs-cold parental panic moment.

You know, like the stab of fear you feel when you turn around in the supermarket and your four-year-old, who was standing RIGHT there a split second ago, is nowhere in sight?

Or the rush of terror that comes when, under your watchful eye during the finger-food phase of your child’s life, a slither of apple or slice of grape suddenly goes down the wrong way and your toddler starts to choke?

Hearing that a clip of a man shooting himself had made its way on to Tik Tok, despite frantic attempts by the video app bosses to have it removed instantly, sent a shiver down my spine.

Read more: Ann Fotheringham: Rudeness is a virus which should be stamped out

Even though we are extremely careful about what our boys watch and how they watch it, this was so alarming I was ready to go full DefCon1 - delete the app, remove their phones, switch off the wifi.

Sadly, the man who made the video died – he was a troubled Iraq War veteran who had suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The original footage appeared on Facebook, and despite being removed multiple times, continued to be shared and re-posted, sickeningly, by TikTok users.

It is not the first time shocking events with horrific consequences have been shown live on social media sites – the Australian who murdered 51 people in the mosque attacks in New Zealand, for example, filmed it on Facebook via a headcam he was wearing, and it was viewed thousands of times before being removed.

Read more: Ann Fotheringham: Let's have more projects which boost the mental health of young people during Covid-19

I am a big fan of TikTok – it gives young people the chance to be hilarious and creative and clever, and my friends and I would definitely have loved it when we were daft 13-year-olds, prancing around, lipsyncing to the Fame soundtrack.

But there is a huge issue surrounding what kids can stumble upon, even with restrictions and watchful parents in the background.

Is it really good enough to say that the sheer volume of stuff being uploaded to sites like TikTok and Facebook makes it impossible to watch every one in advance?

Have we been dazzled so blindingly by technology which allows everything to be created, shared, commented on, dismissed or celebrated instantly that we have lost sight of the damage it might be doing?

The answer is glaringly simple. It is time to remove livestreaming entirely from platforms which are used by children.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.