TikTok is home to a diverse set of issues and trends. It wasn’t long ago that the app had everyone experimenting with baked feta pasta recipes and even viral weight loss ‘hacks.’
However, some of these challenges can be dangerous. TikTok notably removed all videos of the Milk Crate Challenge last year after doctors reported numerous injuries resulting from the precarious trend.
Now, another major challenge on the app is undergoing scrutiny… this time, due to the death of a 10-year-old child.
Tawainna Anderson, a Pennsylvania mother is hitting TikTok with a lawsuit following the death of her 10-year-old daughter, Nylah, who passed away in December 2021 after purportedly attempting the ‘blackout challenge.’
The ‘blackout challenge’ dares participants to hold their breath for as long as they can before passing out.
According to a federal complaint filed Thursday in federal court, Nylah Anderson, an intelligent child who could speak three languages, was found unconscious in her bedroom in suburban Philadelphia on Dec. 7. Before succumbing to her injuries, she spent five days in a pediatric intensive care unit.
Anderson’s family sued TikTok, alleging that the social media site was negligent in promoting a defective product and that the fatal dare “was thrust in front” of the girl by TikTok on her “for you” page.
The complaint stated that the “algorithm determined that the lethal blackout challenge was well-tailored and likely to be of interest to 10-year-old Nylah Anderson, and she died as a result.”
While TikTok has not commented on this latest lawsuit, it has made a statement on the trend in the past, following news of Nylah’s death last year.
“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,” a spokesperson said.
“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.”