A mother is suing TikTok and its parent firm ByteDance for negligence in the instance of her daughter’s death, which she claims was caused by one of the platform’s viral “challenges.” Tawainna Anderson’s wrongful death complaint claims that her 10-year-old daughter died after witnessing the “Blackout Challenge” on the platform and then falling unconscious when attempting it. She died on December 7, 2021, after five days in critical care. According to the lawsuit, Nylah was exposed to the content due to the app’s “defective design” of its algorithm.
“As a result of TikTok’s algorithm, the viral and fatal TikTok Blackout Challenge was shoved in front of Nylah on her TikTok For You Page,” according to the lawsuit reviewed by NBC News. “The TikTok Defendants’ algorithm found that Nylah Anderson, 10, was well-tailored and likely to be interested in the dangerous Blackout Challenge, and she died as a consequence.”
The challenge is holding your breath or asphyxiating yourself in some other way until you pass out, as the name indicates. The lawsuit claims that four other individuals have died as a result of the challenge, which includes people choking themselves for a few seconds with household items and recording their apparently ecstatic emotions when they wake up.
Asphyxiation is extremely risky and can result in unconsciousness and death, as almost every medical professional will tell you. It is not recommended, especially for Internet “likes.” At a news conference, Tawainna stated, “I want to hold this corporation accountable.” “It’s past time for these deadly tasks to cease so that other families don’t have to go through the sorrow we suffer every day.”
According to the complaint, the “blackout challenge” was posted on other platforms, but forensic examination of her phone revealed that she had watched the video on TikTok. TikTok has not responded to the case, but previously stated that it was a “disturbing challenge,’ which people appear to learn about from sources other than TikTok, long predates our platform, and has never been a TikTok trend,” and that they are committed to removing content related to the “blackout challenge” from their platform.