A mother is suing social media app, TikTok after her daughter died while trying a viral challenge called ‘blackout challenge’ that she found on the app.
The pennsylvania mum, says her 10-year-old daughter choked herself to death after participating in the dangerous social media challenge and has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance.
In the lawsuit, Tawainna Anderson said her daughter, Nylah Anderson, participated in a ‘blackout challenge’ after it appeared on her ‘For You’ page in December.
The ‘blackout challenge’ encourages users to try and hold their breath until they pass out, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Thursday.
In December 2021, Anderson rushed her daughter to the hospital after finding she. passed out.
Nylah spent nearly a week in a pediatric intensive care unit before she died from her injuries, the lawsuit said.
She accused TikTok of having a ‘defective design,’ and that the company’s algorithms are exposing young children to dangerous ideas.
‘The viral and deadly TikTok Blackout Challenge was thrust in front of Nylah on her TikTok For You Page … as a result of TikTok’s algorithm,’ the lawsuit said.
‘The TikTok Defendants’ algorithm determined that the deadly Blackout Challenge was well-tailored and likely to be of interest to 10-year-old Nylah Anderson, and she died as a result,’ it said.
The lawsuit describes Nylah as an ‘active, happy, healthy and incredibly intelligent child’ who spoke three languages by the time she turned 10.
At the time of her death, her mother told ABC13, ‘She was a butterfly, she was everything, she was a happy child.’
TikTok reacting to the mum’s lawsuit said in its statement said that the ‘disturbing challenge’ long predates their platform, and had never been a ‘TikTok trend.’
‘We remain vigilant in our commitment to user safety and would immediately remove related content if found,’ the company said in the statement. ‘Our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their tragic loss.’
This is not the first child dying from the challenge.
According to NBC 5, another child, a 12-year-old boy in Colorado, also died after attempting the ‘blackout challenge.
Joshua Haileyesus died in April of 2021 after his twin brother found him passed out in the bathroom. He was taken off life support after 19 days.