Parents sue tiktok blackout challenge - TikTok is still in the eye of the hurricane. The platform is facing multiple lawsuits from parents who say their children died from a strangulation caused by attempting the 'Blackout Challenge', after the app showed them videos of other people trying it.
According to The Verge, a lawsuit filed against the company in June alleges that at least seven specific children died last year while attempting the challenge. All the children who would have died were under 15 years of age.
The most recent lawsuit was filed by the parents of eight-year-old Lalani Walton and nine-year-old Arriani Arroyo. However, within the document 5 other children are cited who also died after attempting the challenge. The lawsuits started as early as 2021 and the platform, according to the lawsuit, "was aware of the problem."
Victims of TikTok's 'blackout challenge'
- A 10-year-old boy in Italy who reportedly died in January 2021.
- In Colorado, a 12-year-old boy reportedly died in March 2021.
- A 14-year-old in Australia who reportedly died in June 2021.
- In July 2021, a 12-year-old boy in Oklahoma who reportedly died from the challenge.
- A 10-year-old boy in Pennsylvania who reportedly died in December 2021.
TikTok involved in lawsuits
- The 10-year-old's mother from Pennsylvania, Nylah Anderson, is also suing the company, claiming the app 'powered extremely and unacceptably dangerous challenges'.
- In response to that lawsuit, TikTok told The Washington Post that it had blocked users from pursuing the blackout challenge.
- Users see one of its warning screens, saying that "some online challenges can be dangerous, disturbing, or even fabricated," and link to a page in the app about evaluating challenges and warnings.
- Smith and Arroyo's lawsuit argues that because TikTok advertises and powers some challenges, it has a "duty to monitor videos and challenges shared, posted, and/or circulated on its app and platform to ensure that dangerous and deadly videos and challenges not be published, shared, circulated, recommended and / or encouraged.
- The company has faced lawsuits and fines for the access children have to its platform before. In 2019, it agreed to pay $5.7 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it allowed users under the age of 13 to sign up without a parent's permission.