After the first child died from self-strangulation while attempting a recommended “Blackout Challenge,” there were many steps that TikTok could’ve taken to shield other kids from the same fate immediately. Instead, a new lawsuit filed in California says TikTok chose to continue profiting from promoting what’s now being described as its deadliest challenge, directly causing the deaths of six more children in 2021.
The lawsuit was filed by the parents of two of those children—girls ages 8 and 9. They claim their kids became addicted to TikTok, were fed a constant stream of seemingly harmless challenge videos persuading them to participate, and then died after attempting the Blackout Challenge. (The Blackout Challenge encourages TikTok users to post videos where they choke themselves until they pass out.)
Rather than blame creators of harmful videos or come after TikTok for publishing videos, the lawsuit instead seeks damages from TikTok for its product design that directed kids to videos.