TikTok, the popular video app developed by ByteDance, has received several lawsuits from parents claiming that their children have died after trying to recreate a viral challenge called ‘blackout challenge’, as revealed The Washington Post, who tells in detail one of these complaints: that of the mother of one of the little deceased; Nylah Anderson, 10 years old.
The challenge, in particular, consists of garnets while the user suffocates himself with the help of a rope, belt, bag strap, etc. to the point of losing consciousness; an action that can easily lead to death. In fact, as reported The Verge, There are 5 people who have died after trying to imitate the aforementioned challenge. All of them, minors between 10 and 14 years old and of American, Italian and Australian nationality.
Parents report that the app was the one that encouraged the little ones to do the challenge, after the platform’s algorithm showed adult videos recreating it. In the lawsuit, Nylah Anderson’s mother also claims that “TikTok is programming children for corporate profit and promoting addiction.”
TikTok responds to the demands of parents whose children died for recreating the viral challenge
TikTok, for its part, has alleged in a statement to the Washington Post that the ‘blackout challenge’ is not a challenge originating from the platform, and that at no time did it become a trend on TikTok. Suggesting, therefore, that it was not viralized or promoted among users, as is the case with other viral challenges. The video app also ensures that you have deleted all those publications that show the challenge and continues to work to remove new posts from the social network. The hashtag #BlackoutChallenge, moreover, is not operational.
TikTok’s statements, however, do not match those of two parents who also lost their children to the challenge. They assure, like the mother of little Nylah Anderson, that the app showed the videos in the ‘For you’ section; an area that shows clips recommended by the platform or that could be of interest to that user. They mention, on the other hand, that the little ones did not perform any specific search for that challenge.
In relation to this new lawsuit, the company has again claimed that the challenge does not originate from the platform, and that it has circulated on the network long before it began to be published on TikTok.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.