GRADE: This article contains graphic and disturbing details and descriptions. Please read at your own discretion.
According to the lawsuit, on Dec. On January 7, 2021, 10-year-old Nylah Anderson suffered “excruciating suffocation” when she attempted the viral challenge, “which encourages users to choke on belts, purse strings, or anything similar until they pass out.”
On Thursday, the girl’s mother, Tawainna Anderson, filed the lawsuit in eastern Pennsylvania. She is suing TikTok on multiple charges, including wrongful death, strict product liability, and negligence.
TikTok has yet to publicly respond to the lawsuit.
She alleged that her daughter saw images of other TikTok users promoting the “blackout challenge” on her For You page, a uniquely curated content feed created by the app’s algorithm.
The suit claims that TikTok’s “algorithm determined that the deadly Blackout Challenge was well designed and would likely be of interest to 10-year-old Nylah Anderson, and she died as a result.”
Anderson claims that a video on Nylah’s For You page “prompted Nylah to hang a bag from a hanger in her closet and put her head between the bag and the shoulder strap and then hang herself until she passed out.” Nylah was unable to free herself from the drawstrings on her bag and her mother found her unconscious.
The girl spent several days in the intensive care unit until she died.
The lawsuit claims that social media negatively impacts children and their mental health. The legal claim alleged that the app preys on “vulnerable users, such as children, who are drawn into an endless dopamine feedback loop that creates addiction and a compelling need to engage more on the TikTok Defendants app.”
In the lawsuit, Anderson claims that TikTok’s “corrosive marketing practices” encouraged Nylah to attempt the blackout challenge.
Nylah is not the first girl to attempt the blackout challenge.
In April 2021, an american boy died as a result of choking on the TikTok trend. Joshua Haileyesus, a 12-year-old boy from Colorado, was found unconscious and gasping for breath in the bathroom of the family home.
In January 2021, a 10-year-old boy Italian girl also died attempting the blackout challenge.
“I want this company to account,” Anderson told CBS Philadelphia. “It is time that these dangerous challenges come to an end, that other families do not experience the heartbreak that we experience every day.”
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.