Two Girls Died After Watching TikTok Blackout Challenge – Parents Sues

TikTok Blackout Challenge encourages viewers to choke themselves until they are blacked out – become unconscious for a short time, similar to fainting. This is the challenge that took the lives of two ‘sweet’ little girls 8 and 9 in Texas and Milwaukee respectively in 2021.

The parents of the two girls claimed TikTok’s algorithms intentionally showed their kids harmful content that led to their death. According to them, TikTok should have known that that content is very addictive and dangerous for its users regardless of age.

The lawsuit filed on Thursday in Los Angeles cites a particular TikTok’s ‘For You’ page which the complaint says shows a stream of videos selected by an algorithm developed by TikTok that is based on user’s demographic, likes, and prior activity on the app. The suit seeks unspecified damages.

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Who Are The Girls Who Died In The TikTok Blackout Challenge?

One of the girls named in the suit as Lalani Erika Walton was described as a sweet girl who loved dressing as a princess and playing with makes-ups. Her dream was to become famous like rapper Cardi B.

She instantly got addicted to TikTok after having her first cell phone on her 8th birthday on April 23rd, 2021. She then regularly posts videos of herself singing and dancing with hopes of becoming TikTok famous, a step toward her dreams of being a famous rapper, the suit says.

After Lalani was seriously injured in a car accident that claimed the life of one of her stepbrothers, she went to live with her stepmother. And without the knowledge of both her guardians, TikTok’s algorithm’s ‘directed’ Lalani in July 2021 to the blackout challenge, the suit details.

Lalani had bruises on her neck on July 13, 2021, and told her family that she had fallen and bumped herself on her bed frame, the suit says. Soon after, she spent some, if not most, of a 20-hour car trip with her stepmother, sitting in the back seat, watching the blackout challenge, the suit says.

On July 15, 2021, Lalani was found with a rope around her neck, the suit says.

After her death, the police took Lalani’s phone and tablet, and told her stepmother that “Lalani did not commit suicide,” the lawsuit says. A police officer showed the videos of the blackout challenge to the stepmother and said that Lalani had been watching the video on repeat and had been trying the challenge herself, the suit says.

The second girl named who also died in practicing the TikTok blackout challenge was called Arriani Jaileen Arroyo, 9, of Milwaukee, she loved and played basketball as well as riding her bicycle. She also got her phone when she was 7, downloaded TikTok, and started watching videos as well as posting her videos on the platform.

Top 10 Pros And Cons Of TikTok For Kids To Consider.

The first challenge she discussed with her parent was eating and drinking which the parent believe to be harmless. In January 2021, Arriani told her parents about a girl who died in Italy during the TikTok blackout challenge. Arriani’s mom told her that she should never try such a challenge and Arriani indicated that she understood, the suit says.

On the 26th of February 2021, Arriani was found with a leash around her neck, clearly, she had been watching and practicing the TikTok blackout challenge. She died after she was taken off life support, the suit says.

TikTok’s Take On The Blackout Challenge

A TikTok spokeswoman said the company would not comment on continuing litigation but she referred to a statement from December when People Magazine made a report that a Pennyslavian mother said her 10 years old daughter had died while trying the TikTok blackout challenge, ‘the disturbing ‘challenge’ that people seem to learn about from other sources other than TikTok long predates our platform and has never been a TikTok trend’, said the statement, which is linked to a federal report about a ‘choking’ game from 1995 to 2007.

‘We remained vigilant in our commitment to user safety and would immediately remove related content if found. Our deepest sympathies go to the family for their tragic loss, she said.

What Is TikTok Rule On Assessing Challenges And Warnings?

Two Girls Died After Watching TikTok Blackout Challenge - Parents Sues
This is the screen you see when you search for a banned challenge on TikTok


TikTok has four steps for assessing content or challenges on the platform. These four steps processes are: Stop, Think. Decide And Act.

STOP – If you see anything disheartening and distressing such as a potential harmful challenge, pause for a minute and think about it, don’t just jump into practicing it.

THINK – Think and ask yourself these questions before you try a challenge; could something have gone wrong? does the person doing the challenge have special skills, if you try, are you confident you won’t hurt yourself or others around you?

And if you are unsure about something you’ve seen, speak to a friend, an adult, or a family member.

DECIDE – You decide what you do. You have control over what to do. If the risk involved is too much, or you are unsure about the challenge, do not try it.

ACT – If a challenge or any content on TikTok looks dangerous and a hoax to you, don’t like it, don’t share it, report it.

The TikTok blackout challenge is not currently banned on the video-sharing platform, similarly, other harmful challenges are being taken down every day. Help save a life by reporting harmful and dangerous content on TikTok.

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