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Parents Sue TikTok After Children Die Attempting Popular ‘Blackout Challenge’

Art by Eyestetix Studio via Unsplash

Parents Sue TikTok After Children Die Attempting Popular ‘Blackout Challenge’

By Movieguide® Staff

TikTok continues to perform as the most-used social media platform among young users, resulting in a domino effect of video “challenges” and trends.

However, a recent report highlighted the fatal results of one challenge, the “blackout challenge.” The popular TikTok challenge encourages users to strangle themselves until they pass out. According to The Verge, seven children have died trying to mimic the trend.

The Verge reported:

TikTok is facing multiple lawsuits from parents who say their children died of strangulation attempting the “blackout challenge,” after the app showed them videos of other people trying it. One suit filed against the company in June alleges that at least seven specific children died last year while attempting the challenge, which the complaint says “encourages users to choke themselves with belts, purse strings, or anything similar until passing out.” All the children who reportedly died were under 15 years old…

The most recent lawsuit was filed by the parents of eight-year-old Lalani Walton, and nine-year-old Arriani Arroyo. However, it cites several other children that also died after attempting the challenge as evidence that TikTok was aware of the problem.

One lawsuit against the video-sharing app alleges that “[TikTok has a] duty to monitor the videos and challenges shared, posted, and / or circulated on its app and platform to ensure that dangerous and deadly videos and challenges were not posted, shared, circulated, recommended, and / or encouraged.”

Movieguide® previously reported:

Tawainna Anderson recently sued the social media giant TikTok over the death of her 10-year-old daughter, Nylah.

After watching TikTok, which boasts over 1 billion users, Nylah imitated a “Blackout Challenge,” going viral on the app.

According to the lawsuit, Nylah hung herself in her mother’s closet, mimicking the videos on TikTok. Although Anderson performed CPR and got her daughter to the hospital, Nylah died five days later.

“I cannot stop replaying that day in my head,” Anderson said at a recent news conference.

She added: “It is time that these dangerous challenges come to an end so that other families don’t experience the heartbreak we live every day.”

Anderson filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania and claimed that TikTok and its parent company ByteDance’s app is “predatory and manipulative.”

“TikTok is programming children for the sake of corporate profits and promoting addiction,” the suit reads.

“You never know what you might find … or the things [they’re] trying that you think that 10-year-olds wouldn’t try,” Anderson said. “They’re trying because they’re kids and they don’t know no better.”

TikTok continues to turn a blind eye to the harmful challenges and content found, and promoted, to young users of the app, making media wisdom and discernment more important than ever in the digital age.

TikTok recently received a lawsuit from two former content moderators who found disturbing, pornographic images permeated the app. Movieguide® reported:

Two former TikTok moderators are suing the video sharing app after claiming they experienced emotional trauma after seeing “highly toxic and extremely disturbing” videos every day.

TikTok moderators review videos posted on the app and determine if they break any of the site’s content rules and guidelines.

“We would see death and graphic, graphic pornography. I would see nude underage children every day,” Ashley Velez said. “I would see people get shot in the face, and another video of a kid getting beaten made me cry for two hours straight.”