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HomeNews & PoliticsMother Sues TikTok After Daughter Dies from Attempting the ‘Blackout Challenge’

Mother Sues TikTok After Daughter Dies from Attempting the ‘Blackout Challenge’

The mother is suing TikTok and ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok

The mother of a 10-year-old daughter who died in December is launching a lawsuit against TikTok after her daughter died attempting a viral social media challenge on the social media platform.

Tawainna Anderson, the mother claims that her daughter Nylah died in December last year after she reportedly tried the “Blackout Challenge” which is a social media trend encouraging users to hold their breath till they pass out.

Here are the details regarding the lawsuit we know so far:

What Is the “Blackout Challenge”?

“Blackout Challenge” is often referred to as the “Choking Challenge” or the “Pass-Out Challenge” as well. The challenge dares the participants to hold their breath until they pass out from the lack of oxygen. It has been reportedly in existence for a long time when even most social networking platforms didn’t exist. The challenge can be traced back to as far as the year 2008.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the challenge took the life of at least 82 youths at that time when it was trending. Then in the year 2021, the challenge resurfaced again after it took the life of at least three known children who reportedly died after attempting the challenge.

The Lawsuit

Tawainna Anderson is claiming that she found her daughter unconscious at their home on the 7th of December last year after she apparently tried the “Blackout Challenge”. According to her mother, Nylah was taken to a local hospital however, she couldn’t be saved because of her injuries after five days.

According to the lawsuit filed by her, Anderson is claiming that her daughter came across the challenge on TikTok and was exposed to the challenge on the “For You Page” section of the app which shows the users video content based on their interests.

According to the lawsuit: “The TikTok Defendants’ algorithm determined that the deadly Blackout Challenge was well-tailored and likely to be of interest to 10-year-old Nylah Anderson, and she died as a result.”

The Reaction of the Company

The company is denying the lawsuit and claiming that the challenge was never a TikTok trend in the first place. Representatives from TikTok were reached out by PEOPLE and they claimed that they are continuously remaining vigilant towards any and all unsafe content that the users see on their platforms and especially the youths.

A spokesperson from TikTok said: “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. We remain vigilant in our commitment to user safety and would immediately remove related content if found.”

Anderson is suing TikTok and its parent company ByteDance for multiple damages which include wrongful death and negligence.

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