TikTok sued by parents of children who died participating in 'blackout challenge'

midian182

Posts: 8,023   +88
Staff member
What just happened? The families of several children who died while trying to participate in a dangerous TikTok challenge are suing the company and its parent, ByteDance, after the app allegedly recommended videos of the 'blackout' strangulation challenge to the minors, all of whom were ten years of age or under.

The TikTok blackout challenge—aka the fainting game, game of choking, or speed dreaming—follows the long trend of viral challenges on the social media platform that have the potential to cause severe injury or death. This one involves users trying to asphyxiate themselves, sometimes by pressing their palms into their necks, until they blackout.

As reported by The Los Angeles Times, lawsuits filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday allege that Erika Walton, 8, and Arriani Jaileen Arroyo, 9, both took part in the blackout challenge after TikTok's algorithm recommended videos of others engaging in the trend.

Walton, from Texas, had long hoped to become "TikTok famous." The suit says she was found "hanging from her bed with a rope around her neck" after watching blackout challenge videos on repeat.

Arroyo, from Milwaukee, was found in her bedroom hanging from the family dog's leash. She was admitted to the hospital and placed on a ventilator but had lost all brain function and was eventually taken off life support.

"TikTok has invested billions of dollars to intentionally design and develop its product to encourage, enable, and push content to teens and children that defendant knows to be problematic and highly detrimental to its minor users' mental health," the lawsuit says.

The pair aren't the first children alleged to have died while attempting the blackout challenge. Ten-year-old Nylah Anderson's mother sued TikTok and ByteDance after her daughter died five days after asphyxiating herself in December. The suit claimed Nylah had been watching videos of the challenge surfaced by the algorithm.

There have been reports of other children, aged 10 to 14, also dying while participating in the blackout challenge.

Challenges such as these are not a new social-social media phenomenon. TikTok users are currently injuring themselves while taking part in the milk crate challenge that involves climbing the unsecured crates. There was also the Benadryl challenge, where people drink enough of the medicine to hallucinate; the aptly-named skull-breaker challenge; the salt and ice challenge where participants pour salt on their bodies, usually on the arm, and ice is then placed on the salt; the Drake-inspired Kiki challenge; and the notorious Tide Pod challenge linked to at least ten deaths.

TikTok recently made headlines after an FCC commissioner called on Google and Apple to ban the app from their stores over concerns that user data was being accessed by China-based employees. It responded by sending US lawmakers a letter explaining how the company will keep all information stored in US-based Oracle data centers, which would be periodically audited by a US-based security team.

Permalink to story.

 

Dsirius

Posts: 142   +249
This is one of the darkest side of social media platforms. The fact that it's automated algorithms allow, promote and disseminate things like this is a wake up call for governs to strictly regulate this media companies and corporations. It's the opposite of the Spiderman's uncle famous belief: they have tremendous power but zero morals and responsibility on how they use it. Another issue is that world IQ is not increasing as fast as population does. And too many people compete for the Darwin award and shockingly many of them "win".
 
Last edited:

3ogdy

Posts: 58   +47
This is awful. The ones who created such videos should be identified and made responsible.

On the bright side, we, as species, are currently more intelligent on average.
I do appreciate the work of natural selection.

I remember my teens and there were guys around us who would jokingly suggest we put a fork in the electrical outlets at home to see what happens.
Yet, here I am, typing this message because I knew better than to imitate others without asking questions.

Only the braindead would do this...until they also end up being medically braindead.
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,833   +4,281
Blackout challenge, a sequel to jump from a five-story building challenge, play Russian roulette with 6 bullets challenge, drive into a concrete wall at 200km/h challenge and go to an American school challenge brought to you by TikTok!
 

Skjorn

Posts: 693   +561
"Let's sue rather than figure out how our bad parenting led to their deaths"
How is it bad parenting? It's not like the parents sat there and said go ahead.
Kids try to do whatever the other kids are doing. TikTok showed these kids how other kids are getting popular/views and they wanted to do it too. Everyone probably seemed fine so they do it.
Now if a parent let's tiktok raise their kids for 10 hours a day, that's bad parenting. Kids being stupid kids isn't bad parenting. Tiktok should be guilty for letting their platform show children doing dangerous **** like it's a cool thing.
 

eforce

Posts: 1,012   +1,458
How is it bad parenting? It's not like the parents sat there and said go ahead.
Kids try to do whatever the other kids are doing. TikTok showed these kids how other kids are getting popular/views and they wanted to do it too. Everyone probably seemed fine so they do it.
Now if a parent let's tiktok raise their kids for 10 hours a day, that's bad parenting. Kids being stupid kids isn't bad parenting. Tiktok should be guilty for letting their platform show children doing dangerous **** like it's a cool thing.
It's called being involved with what your kids are doing and making sure they are aware of the dangers out in the real world, this applies to the offline world as well.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,932   +7,898
Sadly, since social media came into effect there have been too many of these types of incidents, not to mention how many have been injured and/or crimpled trying to compete in these stunts. While it's easy to blame the parents it accomplishes nothing and we are quickly approaching a time when all social media will need to be banned and shut down just to protect those too stupid or so easily influenced that they have to be protected, in spite of themselves. I don't like it, but I don't see another way around it.
 

MyIOnU

Posts: 86   +217
I do not approve Thic Thot; however, these parents need to sue themselves for letting their kids to use Thic Thot in the first place. None of my kids are allowed to be on it.
 

MyIOnU

Posts: 86   +217
It's called being involved with what your kids are doing and making sure they are aware of the dangers out in the real world, this applies to the offline world as well.
Yep many parents now a day think it is other people responsibility to take care their own kids. I monitor and check what my kids watching or doing often. I also tell them which app or social network that they do not allow to use as well.
 

AlaskaGuy

Posts: 397   +302
How is it bad parenting? It's not like the parents sat there and said go ahead.
Kids try to do whatever the other kids are doing. TikTok showed these kids how other kids are getting popular/views and they wanted to do it too. Everyone probably seemed fine so they do it.
Now if a parent let's tiktok raise their kids for 10 hours a day, that's bad parenting. Kids being stupid kids isn't bad parenting. Tiktok should be guilty for letting their platform show children doing dangerous **** like it's a cool thing.
Obviously the parents raised low IQ tards.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,528   +2,496
Hey, we all get it. No one wants to receive negative feedback, but if we're so offended by it, how do we get better as a society?

There are bad kids out there at all income levels, and they're all over the internet consistently exposing themselves. Bragging about it. Flossin'.
 
Last edited:

FuryX

Posts: 15   +22
Don't blame the technology , blame urself as ignorant and irresponsible parent . exposing kids to tiktok itself is cancer and giving them seperate rooms so that they are online sleepless at nights all alone.

they are thousands of bad things in the socity..they must teach the kids where to draw the line.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,642   +1,643
This is awful. The ones who created such videos should be identified and made responsible.
Quite a few videogame makers inundate children with virtual-reality simulations that reward them based on how many people they can kill. Should we "hold them responsible" as well? And plenty of Hollywood films glorify everything from illicit drug use to rape, suicide, and murder. Care to ban all those as well?
 

eforce

Posts: 1,012   +1,458
Yep many parents now a day think it is other people responsibility to take care their own kids. I monitor and check what my kids watching or doing often. I also tell them which app or social network that they do not allow to use as well.
That might work in the short term but eventually they will have to deal with these things on their own, that's why I prefer education over censorship.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 533   +681
Quite a few videogame makers inundate children with virtual-reality simulations that reward them based on how many people they can kill. Should we "hold them responsible" as well? And plenty of Hollywood films glorify everything from illicit drug use to rape, suicide, and murder. Care to ban all those as well?
Um.. Those are rated M or Rated R, depending on type of media.

This is because it is for adults, not for kids....

It is up to the parent to prevent their kids from getting ahold of this content, as well as making sure they are educated well enough to know right from wrong.

I was playing M rated games at the age of 10 like many others, but I knew what I was playing. A child even at the age of 8 is not stupid, but they are capable of stupid things. Same goes for a 20yo.

The real shame parents allowing their children to have social media personas. I'm sorry but they are not a legal adult. The world doesn't need to know about their personal lives. Privacy for anyone under the age of 18 should be a must. Having a phone is a privilege, not a right.


That might work in the short term but eventually they will have to deal with these things on their own, that's why I prefer education over censorship.

Education goes a long ways. That being said, keeping a blind eye to what your child is doing can be bad for both parties. If they are doing something they deem they must hid from their parents, they probably shouldn't be doing it.

That being said, being a a$$ hat to your older children isn't ideal. Education is a lot easier than bad relations.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,642   +1,643
Um.. Those [videogames] are rated M or Rated R, depending on type of media. This is because it is for adults, not for kids....
And TikTok's minimum age is 13, with parental consent required if you're under 18. This child was 10.

It is up to the parent to prevent their kids from getting ahold of this content...
Which was precisely my point.