The mother of a 10-year-old girl, Nylah Anderson, who died participating in TikTok’s “Blackout Challenge,” filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company on Thursday.
As previously reported, on December 7, Nylah attempted the deadly “Blackout Challenge” she saw on TikTok, holding her breath until she fainted.
Her family tried to rush her to the hospital, but she died on December 12.
Tawainna Anderson blames TikTok’s algorithm for putting the challenge on Nylah’s “For You Page.”
The 46-page lawsuit states, “The TikTok Defendants’ algorithm determined that the deadly Blackout Challenge was well-tailored and likely to be of interest to 10-year-old Nylah Anderson, and she died as a result. The TikTok Defendants’ app and algorithm are intentionally designed to maximize user engagement and dependence and powerfully encourage children to engage in a repetitive and dopamine-driven feedback loop by watching, sharing, and attempting viral challenges and other videos. TikTok is programming children for the sake of corporate profits and promoting addiction.”
“The particular Blackout Challenge video that the TikTok Defendants’ algorithm showed Nylah prompted the little girl to hang a purse from a hanger in her closet and position her head between the bag and shoulder strap and then hang herself until blacking out,” the lawsuit states.
“Tragically, after hanging herself with the purse, as the video, the TikTok Defendants put on her FYP showed, Nylah was unable to free herself. Nylah endured hellacious suffering as she struggled and fought for breath and slowly asphyxiated until near the point of death,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit also lists other deaths reportedly from the “Blackout Challenge,” including a 12-year-old boy Joshua Haileyesus who died last year.
Tawainna says she wants to hold the company accountable.
She told CBS Philadelphia, “It is time these dangerous challenges to come to an end so that [others] don’t experience the heartbreak we live every day.”
“I accepted that my daughter’s voice is gone forever. So, I’m going to speak for her in a message here today,” she continued. “Something has to change. Something has to stop because I would never want any other parents to go through what I’m going through every day since December 7th.”