One of the main components of the TikTok social network is various challenges. Many of them are very simple and require you to perform funny dance moves or eat something very sour. But some challenges call for doing traumatic and even life-threatening things.
One of these is the Blackout Challenge, the essence of which is to suffocate yourself until you lose consciousness. No one knows what exactly motivates people to try this. But such dangerous actions find an audience. And, unfortunately, children are often found among this audience.
Because of this, the parents of two children, 8-year-old Lalani Walton and 9-year-old Arriani Arroyo, who died trying to complete the infamous Blackout Challenge, are appealing to the company. At least 5 more similar cases are added to the case file. The age of the children did not exceed 14 years.
Currently, you cannot find such a challenge in the social network search, instead, TikTok even warns that some challenges can be dangerous and offers a separate page about protecting your health. Similarly, the statement of the company representative says that something like this could not become a trend:
“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. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their tragic loss,” the company said in the original statement.
But in the lawsuit, the parents claim that the children were not looking for such videos, but came across them directly on the For You page. It also says that these videos are “specially selected and determined to be appropriate for young children.” The lawsuit further emphasizes that TikTok promotes challenges, and therefore the platform has a duty to ensure that dangerous and deadly challenges do not spread.