The family of a 10-year-old girl who choked to death in a TikTok challenge is suing the video platform for negligence and “faulty design”.
Nylah Anderson of Philadelphia was found unconscious in her mother’s bedroom closet on December 7.
She hung herself from a purse strap after seeing videos related to the ‘blackout challenge’ on the app’s ‘For You’ page, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Pennsylvania.
The challenge encourages users to asphyxiate, pass out, and regain consciousness in front of the camera.
Nylah’s mother, Tawainna, says the company is responsible for her death because the content “was presented to her”.
“I can’t help but replay that day in my head,” Tawainna said at a press conference on Thursday. “The unbreakable bond in our family is now broken and empty.”
Last year, a 12-year-old boy died after using a shoelace to choke himself for the same challenge, according to his family.
Nylah Anderson, 10, was found unconscious in her mother’s bedroom closet on December 7
‘Active’ and ‘incredibly smart’ girl choked on purse trap for TikTok challenge, lawsuit filed by her mother claims
Nylah’s mother, Tawainna, is suing TikTok for “pushing” the dangerous challenge in her daughter’s face. She seeks unspecified damages
Nylah was an “active, happy, healthy and incredibly intelligent child” who spoke three languages, according to the lawsuit.
She is survived by her mother and two brothers, Nakye Anderson and Kevin Freeman Lamarr Neal III.
The 10-year-old tried the ‘blackout challenge’ in her mum’s closet while her mum was downstairs.
A forensic analysis of her phone showed the app was in use at the time, according to her mother’s lawyers.
“Nylah endured hellish pain as she struggled and struggled to breathe and slowly asphyxiated herself to near death,” the lawsuit states.
Tawainna found her daughter and tried several rounds of CPR on her until paramedics arrived.
Nylah spent five days in pediatric intensive care and died on December 12, 2021.
His family’s lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, holds TikTok liable for designing an app that promotes dangerous challenges for children.
A search for the hashtag #blackoutchallenge on TikTok yields no results on Thursday afternoon. The company says its main app is aimed at people aged 13 or older, although it also operates a version of the app designed for younger users.
In a statement before the lawsuit was filed, the Chinese company said: “This disturbing ‘challenge’, which people seem to know about from sources other than TikTok, long predates our platform and has never been a trend. Tik Tok.
“We remain vigilant in our commitment to user safety and will immediately remove related content if found.”
But Nylah’s mother says the company intentionally designs its app to keep its young users’ attention at all costs.
“The algorithm determined that the fatal breakdown challenge was well suited and likely to be of interest to 10-year-old Nylah Anderson, and that she died as a result,” the lawsuit states.
He cites a number of other dangerous challenges, including the “Orbeez Challenge”, which encourages viewers to shoot the plastic balls at people.
Also named is the “Benadryl challenge”, in which people drink large amounts of cough medicine until they hallucinate.
A search for the “blackout challenge” on the video app yields no results on Thursday afternoon. TikTok says its main app is for users 13 and older
“I’ve accepted that my daughter’s voice is gone forever, so I’m going to speak up for her, and the message here today is that something has to change,” Tawainna Anderson said.
Another is the “Nyquil Chicken Challenge”, which “involves soaking the chicken breast in a cough medicine like Nyquil and cooking it, boiling the water and alcohol in it and letting chicken saturated with a very concentrated amount of drugs in the meat”. according to court documents.
Tawainna Anderson’s product liability and negligence lawsuit “seeks to hold TikTok accountable for its role as designers, programmer makers, sellers and distributors of their dangerously flawed social media products and for their own acts of independent negligence”.
Speaking to her lawyers at a press conference, Nylah’s mother said she was taking a stand for other children.
“I’ve accepted that my daughter’s voice is gone forever, so I’m going to speak up for her, and the message here today is that something has to change.
“Something has to stop because I wouldn’t want another parent to go through what I’ve been going through since December 7,” Tawainna said.
Last April, a 12-year-old boy from Colorado died after his parents said he used a shoelace to choke him unconscious from the same challenge.
Joshua Haileyesus’ family shared an update on a GoFundMe page that confirmed his passing.
Joshua Haileyesus (pictured), 12, died after his parents said he used a shoelace to choke him unconscious for TikTok’s ‘blackout challenge’
Joshua was found passed out in the bathroom of his home by his twin brother on March 22. His family (pictured) believe he may have used the shoelace to participate in the challenge
“After fighting the good fight on life support for 19 days, Joshua left to join the Lord,” the family wrote.
“Your prayers and love have comforted us and we are grateful for your support.”
Joshua was found passed out in the bathroom of his home by his twin brother on March 22, 2021.
His brother tried to resuscitate him until neighbors and an ambulance arrived, according to the family.
His family believe he may have used the shoelace to participate in the Blackout Challenge, which has been circulating on TikTok for the past year.
Joshua’s death is mentioned in the final trial.
TikTok is extremely popular with very young users.
About 28% of its users are children under the age of 18, according to the lawsuit. As of April 2020, the company’s total global downloads exceeded 2 million.
#TikTok #sued #family #Philadelphia #girl #died #dangerous #blackout #challenge