TikTok is sued by family of Philly girl, 10, who died doing dangerous ‘blackout challenge’

The family of a 10-year-old girl who choked herself as part of a TikTok challenge is suing the video platform for negligence and having “faulty design.”

Nylah Anderson of Philadelphia was found unconscious in her mother’s bedroom closet on December 7.

She hanged herself by a belt after seeing videos of the “blackout challenge” on the app’s “For You” page, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Pennsylvania.

The challenge encourages users to choke themselves, pass out and regain consciousness in front of the camera.

Nylah’s mother Tawainna says the company is responsible for her death because the content was “pushed in front of her.”

“I can’t stop repeating this day in my head,” Tawainna said at a news conference on Thursday. “The unbreakable bond in our family is now broken and void.”

Last year, a 12-year-old boy died after using a shoelace to choke himself for the same challenge, his family says.

Nylah Anderson, 10, was found unconscious in her mother’s bedroom closet on December 7.

The 'active' and 'incredibly intelligent' girl choked herself with a wallet trap for a TikTok challenge, according to lawsuit filed by her mother

The ‘active’ and ‘incredibly intelligent’ girl choked herself with a wallet trap for a TikTok challenge, according to lawsuit filed by her mother

Nylah's mother Tawainna is suing TikTok for

Nylah’s mother Tawainna is suing TikTok for “pushing” the dangerous challenge in her daughter’s face. She is demanding unspecified damages

Nylah was an “active, happy, healthy and incredibly intelligent child” who spoke three languages, according to the lawsuit.

She is survived by her mother and her two brothers, Nakye Anderson and Kevin Freeman Lamarr Neal III.

The 10-year-old girl tried the ‘blackout challenge’ in her mother’s closet while her mother was downstairs.

A forensic analysis of her phone revealed that the app was in use at the time, her mother’s lawyers said.

“Nylah endured excruciating suffering as she struggled and fought for breath and slowly choked to death,” the lawsuit said.

Tawainna found her daughter and tried several rounds of CPR on her until paramedics arrived.

Nylah spent five days in the pediatric ICU and died on December 12, 2021.

Her family’s lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, holds TikTok responsible for designing an app that encourages dangerous challenges for children.

A search for the hashtag #blackoutchallenge on TikTok yielded no results on Thursday afternoon. The company says the main app is aimed at people aged 13 or older, although it also has a version of the app designed for younger users.

In a statement before the lawsuit was filed, the Chinese company said: “This troubling “challenge,” which people seem to be learning from sources other than TikTok, predates our platform and has never been a TikTok trend.

“We remain vigilant in our commitment to user safety and would immediately remove related content if found.”

But Nylah’s mother says the company deliberately designs its app to keep the attention of its young users at all costs.

The “algorithm determined that the deadly blackout challenge was well-tailored and would likely be of interest to 10-year-old Nylah Anderson, and she died as a result,” the lawsuit reads.

It lists a number of other dangerous challenges, including the “Orbeez Challenge,” which encourages viewers to shoot the plastic granules at people.

Also called the ‘Benadryl Challenge’, where people drink large amounts of the cough medicine until they hallucinate.

A search for the ‘blackout challenge’ on the video app will yield no results from Thursday afternoon. TikTok says main app is aimed at users 13 and older

“I’ve accepted that my daughter’s voice is gone forever, so I’m going to speak for her, and the message here today is that something has to change,” Tawainna Anderson said.

Another is the ‘Nyquil Chicken Challenge’, in which ‘chicken breast is soaked in cough medicine like Nyquil and it is boiled, the water and alcohol are boiled in it and the chicken is saturated with a highly concentrated amount of medicine in the meat’. according to court documents.

Tawainna Anderson’s product liability and negligence lawsuit “seeks to hold TikTok accountable for their role as designers, programmers, manufacturers, sellers and distributors of their dangerously flawed social media products and for their own independent acts of negligence.”

During a press conference with her lawyers, Nylah’s mother said she stands up for other children.

“I’ve accepted that my daughter’s voice is gone forever, so I’m going to speak for her, and the message here today is that something has to change.

“Something has to stop because I wouldn’t want another parent going through what I’ve been going through since December 7,” Tawainna said.

Last April, a 12-year-old boy from Colorado died after his parents said he used a shoelace to strangle himself until he lost consciousness from the same challenge.

Joshua Haileyesus’ family shared an update on a GoFundMe page confirming his passing.

Joshua Haileyesus (pictured), 12, died after his parents said he used a shoelace to strangle himself until he lost consciousness before TikTok's 'blackout challenge'

Joshua Haileyesus (pictured), 12, died after his parents said he used a shoelace to strangle himself until he lost consciousness before TikTok’s ‘blackout challenge’

Joshua was found unconscious in the bathroom of his home by his twin brother on March 22.  His family (pictured) thinks he may have used the shoelace to participate in the challenge

Joshua was found unconscious in the bathroom of his home by his twin brother on March 22. His family (pictured) thinks he may have used the shoelace to participate in the challenge

“After 19 days of fighting the good fight to stay alive, Joshua has gone to be with the Lord,” the family wrote.

“Your prayers and your love have comforted us and we are grateful for your support.”

Joshua was found unconscious in the bathroom of his home by his twin brother on March 22, 2021.

His brother tried to resuscitate him until neighbors and the ambulance arrived, the family said.

His family believes he may have used the shoelace to compete in the Blackout Challenge, which has been circulating on TikTok for the past year.

Joshua’s death is mentioned in the latest lawsuit.

TikTok is extremely popular among very young users.

According to the lawsuit, about 28 percent of users are children under the age of 18. In April 2020, the company’s total downloads worldwide exceeded 2 million.

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