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A mother of a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl is suing China’s TikTok and its parent company ByteDance, alleging that her daughter died participating in the “Blackout Challenge” trend popular on the platform.
NBC News reports that the mother of a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who allegedly died while participating in the viral social media “Blackout Challenge,” has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against TikTok and its parent company ByteDance. The lawsuit against TikTok was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Thursday.
In December, Tawainna Anderson’s daughter, Nylah, died after allegedly taking part in the “Blackout Challenge,” in which social media users attempt to hold their breath until they pass out. Anderson found her daughter passed out on December 7 and brought her to the hospital. Nylah spent days in a pediatric intensive care unit but unfortunately succumbed to her injuries on December 12. Anderson alleges that TikTok and its parent company have been negligent and have a “defective design,” in its algorithm which exposes young children to dangerous content.
“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 lawsuit added: “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.”
TikTok said in a statement that the”disturbing ‘challenge,’ which people seem to learn about from sources other than TikTok, long predates our platform and has never been a TikTok trend.”
The company added: “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.”
Read more at NBC News here.