TikTok is Being Sued for Life-Threatening Online Challenges

TikTok, the social media app beloved by many youngsters, is being sued after children have died while attempting the so-called “blackout challenge”. The challenge consists of videos of other people trying techniques that “encourage users to choke themselves with belts, purse strings, or anything similar until passing out”.

The most recent deaths by strangulation happened in Italy, Australia, and the United States, with the most recent incidents involving Lalani Walton, eight, and Arriani Arroyo, nine.

According to the mother of one of the alleged victims, Nylah Anderson from Pennsylvania, TikTok is dangerous because it encourages people to do risky challenges. A blackout dares video on TikTok was disabled after it caused harm to some people. Now when you search for that video, you are immediately directed to a caution screen that warns: “Some online activities may be hazardous, disturbing, or even hoaxed”.

However, if Lestrange can show that Arroyo was looking for the video, she will be harmed. 

The claimant claims they were not actively searching for it on TikTok’s “for you” page; instead, it was forced upon them.

The lawsuit claims that TikTok’s algorithm “selected and determined that these Blackout Challenge videos – in which children strangle themselves till losing consciousness – are acceptable and safe for youngsters,” with one being viewed over 26 million times.

The company is facing a slew of issues, which are an essential element of TikTok’s platform, including somewhat less serious dance dares and what appears to have been a considerably more sinister and tragic attempt.

TikTok has had some difficulties in the past. For example, in 2019, TikTok agreed to pay $5.7 million because it allowed minors to join without their parents’ permission. After this, TikTok introduced a “family pairing mode” that will enable parents to restrict their children’s access to the app.

According to the Arroyo lawsuit, TikTok is obligated “to monitor videos and challenges posted, shared, or circulated on its app and platform to ensure that harmful and deadly films are not uploaded, shared, disseminated, recommended, or encouraged.”

Natalie Werner
Natalie Werner is a freelance writer, CISSP & CCSK Certified Cybersecurity specialist with over 20 years of experience in the banking industry. She's also co-founder and CEO at The Alliance for Cyber Security Excellence (The ACE), an international not -for profit organization that provides cyber security solutions to reduce risk exposure from threats like hacks or malware infections by bringing together trusted experts across various fields, including information technology (IT). As well as providing specialized operational courses on how to maintain your digital assets within IT domains such data protection, Natalie offers strategic training designed help organizations better understand their own business needs when it comes down to protecting against external risks brought about through technological advances

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