Tech

Deadly TikTok ‘blackout challenge’ blamed for deaths of young girls who ‘choked’ themselves

A lawsuit has been filed against TikTok, blaming the social media giant for the deaths of two young girls.

The worrying trend is encouraging users to choke until they lose consciousness, reports say.

About a third of TikTok users are between 10 and 19 years old

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About a third of TikTok users are between 10 and 19 years oldPhoto credit: Getty Images – Getty

Parents of two children who reportedly died attempting the “Blackout Challenge” have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against TikTok.

The lawsuit alleges TikTok’s algorithm encouraged the challenge, which instructs participants to strangle themselves with “belts, purse strings, or other similar objects.”

The Guardian quoted attorney Matthew P. Bergman as saying: “TikTok must be held responsible for sending deadly content to these two young girls.”

“TikTok has invested billions of dollars to intentionally create products that distribute dangerous content that it knows is dangerous and could lead to the deaths of its users.”

Bergman founded the Social Media Victims Law Center (SMVL) and the firm is currently representing the parents suing TikTok.

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One of the kids who died trying the Blackout Challenge aspired to become “TikTok famous.”

The complaint says she “quickly became addicted to watching TikTok videos” after being given a phone for her 8th birthday.

The LA Times reported that police checked her phone and tablet histories, and the lawsuit says she “repeatedly” watched Blackout challenge videos.

The case was filed in Los Angeles District Court.

Cyberbullying, social media-induced insecurity, and twisted challenges like the “Blackout Challenge” have used communication tools against a vulnerable generation of users.

“TikTok prioritized greater corporate profits over the health and safety of its users, and particularly the health and safety of vulnerable children who TikTok knew or should have known to be actively using its social media product,” attorneys for the SMVLC said.

The Blackout Challenge is the latest in a series of dangerous challenges hitting the masses on TikTok.

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Internet challenges promoting suicide among young users decline before the rise of TikTok.

A study by the National Library of Medicine found that spending more time online increased exposure to content that encourages self-harm.

https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5714441/tiktok-blackout-challenge-blamed-for-deaths/ Deadly TikTok ‘blackout challenge’ blamed for deaths of young girls who ‘choked’ themselves

Chris Barrese

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