WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Nylah Anderson’s mother is suing TikTok and parent ByteDance after the death of her daughter in December 2021.
- The 10-year-old girl died after trying out a choking challenge on TikTok — the ‘Blackout Challenge.’
- The dangerous challenge, which dares people to attempt to hold their breath until they pass out, has resulted in at least four other deaths.
A Pennsylvania mother is suing TikTok and its parent company ByteDance after her 10-year-old daughter allegedly died doing the “blackout challenge.”
Tawainna Anderson said her daughter, Nylah Anderson, died last December while participating in a viral choking challenge after it appeared on her “For You” recommendation page.
The “blackout challenge” dares participants to choke themselves with household items until they pass out. When they regain consciousness, they would post a recording of the process for other TikTok users to see.
According to the complaint filed on Thursday, Anderson found her daughter unresponsive in her bedroom on December 7. The girl was rushed to the hospital, where she died five days later.
The court document alleged that TikTok’s “algorithm determined that the Blackout Challenge was matched and likely to be of interest” to Nylah but it caused her death.
The suit also mentioned at least four other deaths related to the viral choking challenge. TikTok reportedly didn’t correct its algorithm to prevent users from being seeing it.
“The TikTok Defendants failed to take the necessary corrective action because it would result in less user engagement on the app and thus less corporate profits,” per the complaint.
A TikTok spokesperson told the New York Post in December that “This disturbing ‘challenge,’ which people seem to learn about from sources other than TikTok, long predates our platform and has never been a TikTok trend.”
Actually, the blackout challenge exists on other social media apps too, but analyzing Nylah’s mobile phone revealed that she was using TikTok for the challenge,
In April 2021, a 12-year-old boy was reported to have died after his family said he tried the blackout challenge on TikTok.
Dangerous challenges have plagued most of the major social media platforms.
Last year, TikTok users videotaped themselves performing the dangerous milk crate challenge. The game will make people climb milk crates stacked in a pyramid. And in 2019, YouTubers shared videos of them completing common tasks blindfolded, including driving, in what they called “The Bird Cage challenge.” And who can’t forget the infamous 2017 “Tide Pod” challenge where the youths challenged each other to eat laundry detergent capsules and post their reactions on social media.
Source: NBC News