After the death of a 10-year-old girl who allegedly attempted a challenge she saw on the app, TikTok and parent company ByteDance have been accused of negligence.
Nylah Anderson was discovered unconscious in her bedroom in Pennsylvania on December 7th, according to the wrongful death suit. She was taken to the hospital, but she died five days later in pediatric intensive care.
Tawainna, Nylah’s mother, said her daughter tried the “blackout challenge,” which encourages people to hold their breath or otherwise asphyxiate themselves until they pass out.
According to NBC News, Nylah saw a video about the challenge on the For You page “as a result of TikTok’s algorithm.” “The TikTok defendants’ algorithm determined that the lethal blackout challenge was well-tailored and likely to appeal to 10-year-old Nylah Anderson, and she died as a result.”
TikTok said in a statement that the disturbing ‘blackout 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. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their tragic loss.”
The challenge has been blamed for the deaths of several other children. Joshua Haileyesus, a 12-year-old Colorado boy, died in April 2021 after being on life support for 19 days.
His family claimed he took part in the challenge. After the death of a girl who allegedly took the challenge, Italy temporarily blocked TikTok for users who were unable to verify their age last year.
In March, it was revealed that a group of attorneys general is looking into TikTok’s potential harms to children and “what TikTok knew about those harms.”