There is a deadly TikTok challenge circulating, and parents are being urged to read up so they can protect their children. The “Blackout Challenge” encourages kids to hold their breath or use choking devices until they black out. Numerous children have died while trying the challenge. Despite TikTok’s attempts to fix its algorithms, the challenge is still showing up on kids’ feeds.
Blacking Out Challenge Is Circulating on TikTok, Has Led to at Least 16 Recent Deaths
Most recently, a 12-year-old Argentinian girl named Milagros Soto died this month after she was reportedly encouraged to hang herself. Her aunt told JamPress that someone sent her a link to the TikTok challenge via WhatsApp. She said that Soto had endured a lot of bullying at school. The girl subsequently attempted the “challenge” three times, with the last one ending her life.
A Bloomberg report on the TikTok blackout challenge marked the death toll at 15, all in children 12 or younger, in the past 18 months alone. One of the incidences involved a 5-year-old exclaiming that his 9-year-old was “tangled.” His sister, Arriani, hung herself with a metal dog leash from 2 feet above the ground.
At least 7 deceased children’s parents are suing TikTok for allowing the blackout challenge to circulate. At least two children’s parents are claiming that TikTok’s algorithm delivered the challenge to their kids’ “For You” pages. Other children have been rendered brain-dead and later died.
However, TikTok is claiming that the blackout challenge has existed for much longer than the social media platform has been around. While that is true, it’s undeniable that this is a very real and dangerous problem. It might take a while to go away, but in the meantime, if you’re a parent or teacher, there are signs you should look out for. Talking to your kids could save their lives.
GoodToKnow.com has a list of red flags you should look for. They include any mention of the blackout game, which is also referred to as “space monkey” and “the pass-out game.”
Other Warning Signs to Look for Are:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Headaches and disorientation
- Marks on the neck
- Ropes, cords, scarves, leashes, or anything else that could be wrapped around a person’s neck
- Any of the above items found tied to a doorknob, furniture, banister, etc.
Further, if you do spot any of these things, it’s important to have a sincere conversation with your child. Talk to them about bullying, peer pressure, and safety. This most definitely includes talking about the dangers of social media.