The family of a child killed in attempting a social media challenge has filed a wrongful death suit against TikTok.
Nylah Anderson, 10, died in December while attempting the blackout challenge on the TikTok social media app, according to Fox 29 Philadelphia. The challenge that has existed for years is to choke oneself long enough to lose consciousness.
A landmark federal complaint against TikTok and Bytedance was filed against TikTok and Bytedance for giving 10 year-old Nylah Anderson a deadly blackout challenge choking video that allegedly caused her death, the law firm representing the family wrote.
SMB is filing a lawsuit on behalf of Naylah's mother, Tawainna Anderson. The suit alleges that TikTok caused fatal negligence due to a lack of content screening and ease of access for young viewers.
TikTok, a social media superpower, has seized the opportunity presented by the 'digital Wild West' to manipulate and control the behavior of vulnerable children in order to maximize revenue and profits, according to firm partner Jeffrey Goodman. The industry has neglected its safety responsibilities for too long. It is time for social media giants like TikTok to make sure they are safe and protect children. TikTok does not agree that the blackout challenge was a TikTok trend, and that content promoting dangerous behavior would violate its community guidelines, and that it did not find evidence that such content trended on the platform.
A company spokeswoman said that this disturbing challenge, which people seem to learn about from sources other than TikTok, has never been a TikTok trend. We would immediately remove related content if we found it, and we remain vigilant in our commitment to user safety. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their tragic loss. TikTok is marketed for children 13 years and older. An alternative version of the platform is available for younger users.
The suit is filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal, the way children are consuming TikTok is likely to negatively affect their attention spans, as well as increasing trends in media consumption of all types and media multitasking and rates of ADHD and other attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, it is hard to conclude that there is a decrease in their attention span, said Dr. Carl Marci, a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital.
New research shows that the type of short and fast-paced videos that children consume today are partly to blame for why they don't participate in longer-term activities, even though the link between ADHD and screen time is debatable.