Priti Patel urges social media firms to remove posts of migrant crossings.
Posts on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are being used by people smugglers to promote crossings to desperate migrants, the Home Office said.
Almost 600 migrants were intercepted attempting to cross the Channel in three days this week.
Ms Patel’s letter, sent on Saturday, follows a viral video posted on TikTok which the Home Office said appeared to show a group of men crossing the Channel in a dinghy.
Similar posts have appeared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and are used by people smugglers to promote crossings to desperate migrants, the Home Office added.
People smugglers use the posts – which also feature on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – to promote crossings to desperate migrants, the Home Office added.
So far this year, there have been more than 4,000 arrivals, a trend that could see this year’s numbers outstrip last year’s total of about 8,500.
The Home Secretary said online videos promoting “lethal crossings” are “totally unacceptable”.
Priti Patel added “posts which promote and even glamorise these lethal crossings are totally unacceptable. They encourage others to leave a safe European country and put theirs and their family’s life at risk and are even used by people smugglers to promote their deadly business,” Ms Patel said.
“What these posts don’t mention are the people who have died trying to make this crossing, or those forced to spend 13 hours in unseaworthy boats in freezing waters.”
She added that social media companies have “made progress” in removing the posts but “must quickly and proactively… before more men, women and children die in the Channel”.