TikTok is being sued after a child died from participating in a viral challenge that was made popular on the app.
TikTok is often the source of many viral internet trends, a lot of which are seen as controversial. From teens getting popular off of dance trends originating from black creators to the dangerous Milk Crate Challenge, TikTok is no stranger to criticism. But this latest incident went beyond mere accusations.
Tawainna Anderson has filed a lawsuit against TikTok after the death of her 10-year-old daughter, Nylah. The little girl passed away in December 2021 after attempting the Blackout Challenge. This TikTok challenge involved holding your breath as long as possible, sometimes causing participants to pass out.
Anderson was one of the unfortunate individuals to pass out. She ended up at a pediatric hospital for several days, ultimately passing away from her injuries.
The lawsuit states that TikTok "thrust" the challenge in front of Nylah on her For You Page, a result of TIkTok's algorithm. This algorithm, the lawsuit went on, determined that the "deadly Blackout Challenge" was in line with the interests of a 10-year-old child.
"And she died as a result," it reads.
The lawsuit urges technology companies in general to "step up" and "take responsibility" for creating a safe environment for children. It continues to say that companies like TikTok are not transparent about the impact of their products, "preventing parents and young people from making informed decisions" about the social media platform.
Anderson added that TikTok profits off of "promoting addiction" and she wants the platform held accountable for its "dangerously defective product."
TikTok hasn't publicly responded to the lawsuit but has discussed the Blackout Challenge in the past. A spokesperson called the challenge "disgusting" but claims it didn't originate on TikTok. Still, the company promised to "remain vigilant" and remove content related to the Blackout Challenge.
“Make sure you’re checking your kids’ phones. Just pay attention, because you never know what you might find," Anderson said last year.
Esports writer and editor with a passion for creating unique content for the gaming community.