OREANDA-NEWS TikTok is now facing multiple lawsuits after at least seven children under the age of 15 died while attempting the “blackout challenge”, alleges a suit filed against TikTok in June. The challenge encourages social media users to choke themselves with belts, purse strings, or similar items until they pass out.The parents of Arriani Jaileen Arroyo gave their daughter a smartphone at the age of 7, she then downloaded TikTok and became “addicted” to the platform, her parents said. She started trying internet challenges but because those challenges involved foods and beverages Arriani’s parents thought little of them.

Then on February 26, 2021 Arriani was found with a leash tied around her neck, inspired by the TikTok choking challenge; she died that same day.Other children across the globe—not just in America—have died from trying the “blackout challenge”: a 10 year-old in Italy, a 14 year-old in Australia, as well as a 12 year-old in Colorado, a 12 year-old in Oklahoma, and a 10 year-old in Pennsylvania. Lalani Erika Renee Walton, 8, also died while attempting the blackout challenge.Family members of Lalani and Arriani are now suing TikTok.

They are being represented by the Social Media Victims Law Center, a law firm that “works to hold social media companies legally accountable for the harm they inflict on vulnerable users”, according to their website. This is the second lawsuit the social media app has faced following a fatal incident involving the blackout challenge.The company argues that the “blackout challenge” has been around for years. Between 1995 and 2007 CDC discovered 82 deaths caused by “the choking game” which saw kids aged six to 19 die.In 2019 TikTok had to pay $5.7 million in settlement charges after violating a children’s privacy law, said the Federal Trade Commission who filed the charges. The app “illegally collected personal information from children” after it failed to require parents’ permission before signing up for the app.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires websites to ask children under the age of 13 to get their parents’ permission before sharing personal information online.