TikTok challenges have increased in popularity during the pandemic lockdowns – kids, couples, and pets having fun with all sorts of dares like #thepushupchallenge, #makemomsmile, #levelup, and so on. But like most things on the internet, this sort of games also has a dark side, with challenges that are dangerous and can hurt participants.
The latest TikTok dare called the blackout challenge consists of users suffocating themselves until they lose consciousness. In Italy, it’s alleged a 10-yeard-old girl died while trying to complete the challenge, causing authorities to take a stance against the service. The Italian Data Protection Authority forced TikTok to suspend all unverified accounts until February 15, Reuters reported. Under its terms of service, users must be 13 or over to sign up for an account, but authorities say it’s easy for younger users to join the platform.
In the US TikTok launched a version of the app for younger users, meant to limit the content and interaction available to those users. Most recently, TikTok introduced remote parental controls and allowed parents to change kids’ privacy settings on the app. ByteDance, the parent company of the video-sharing app will most likely face fine and more restrictions if it is proved the app had a part in the death of the girl in Italy.