TikTok was held responsible after the death of another child who participated in the “Blackout Challenge”;
Posts on the platform promote a form of self-throttling to challenge users;
Leon Brown, 14, died in his bedroom in Cumbernauld, UK.
Another child died after trying the “Blackout Challenge” on TikTok. Leon Brown, 14, passed away just weeks after fellow Brit Archie Battersbee, 12, died – reportedly from the same viral threat. The platform had previously been blamed for several youth deaths.
“It went terribly wrong,” Scottish mother Lauryn Keating, 30, told the local Daily Record of the horrific incident. The mother reported that she found her son unresponsive in her room at her home in Cumbernauld, UK, on August 25th.
Keating learned that his son had participated in the viral blackout challenge — one of several fatal fads circulating via TikTok. Posts on the platform promote a form of self-throttling to challenge users to see how long they can hold their breath. This sometimes dangerous game can restrict oxygen to the brain, potentially resulting in seizures, serious injury or death.
“One of Leon’s friends told me he was doing the Facetime challenge with them after seeing him on TikTok,” recalled the distraught mother of the fateful day.
However, Brown’s attempt backfired terribly after he fell unconscious and never recovered. “[Um amigo] said he thought he was going to wake up,” lamented a devastated Keating. “But Leon didn’t come back.”
TikTok has already been sued for the death of 7 children who participated in the challenge
Victims’ parents Lalani Walton, 8, and Arriani Arroyou are responsible for the latest lawsuit brought against TikTok. The content of the lawsuit shows that the platform was aware of the problem by citing the death of other children as a result of the challenge: A 10-year-old child in Italy who died in January 2021, A 12-year-old child in Colorado (USA) who died in March 2021; A 14-year-old in Australia who died in June 2021; A 12-year-old in Oklahoma (USA) who died in July 2021; A 10-year-old in Pennsylvania (USA) who died in December 2021.