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Mom Sues TikTok After Daughter, 10, Died From'Blackout Challenge'

The lawsuit blames the social media giant’s algorithm for recommending the dangerous challenge to Nylah Anderson.

The mother of Nylah Anderson, 10, filed a lawsuit on May 12 against TikTok and its parent company ByteDance after the girl died attempting a dangerous social media game that circulated on the app.

In court documents, Tawainna Anderson accused the company of having a defective product and negligence because its algorithm recommended the “Blackout Challenge” to Nylah on her For You Page feed, Forbes explains.

“Social media giants like the TikTok Defendants have seized the opportunity presented by the digital wild west to manipulate and control the behavior of vulnerable children to maximize attention dedicated to their social media platforms and thus maximize revenues and profits, all while shirking any safety responsibilities whatsoever,” the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleges.

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The video challenged participants to choke themselves by holding their breath or using another method until they blacked out. After attempting the challenge, Nylah was found unconscious in her Philadelphia home on Dec. 7 and died five days later of asphyxiation.

According to the lawsuit, four other children died from attempting the challenge, including children in Italy and Australia.

“The TikTok Defendants unquestionably knew that the deadly Blackout Challenge was spreading through its app. Its algorithm was specifically feeding the Blackout Challenge to children, including those who had died,” the lawsuit states.

According to Forbes, TikTok responded to the deaths by urging users to report videos promoting the challenge.

“This disturbing challenge, which people seem to learn about from sources other than TikTok, long predates our platform,” the outlet quoted TikTok.

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