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Families of two girls who died while trying viral TikTok challenge sue social media platform

The families of two young girls who allegedly died as a result of a viral TikTok challenge have sued the social media platform, claiming its “dangerous” algorithms are to blame for their children’s deaths.

Parents of two girls who died in a 2021 “blackout challenge” on TikTok, which encouraged users to choke themselves until they passed out, filed a suit on Tuesday in the Los Angeles county superior court.

Represented by the Social Media Victims Law Center (SMVLC), a legal resource for parents of children harmed by social media addiction and abuse, they allege the platform’s “dangerous algorithm intentionally and repeatedly” pushed videos of the challenge into the children’s feeds, incentivizing them to participate in the challenge that ultimately took their lives.




“TikTok needs to be held accountable for pushing deadly content to these two young girls,” said Matthew P Bergman, founding attorney of SMVLC.

“TikTok has invested billions of dollars to intentionally design products that push dangerous content that it knows is dangerous and can result in the deaths of its users.”

The lawsuit lists a number of complaints against TikTok, including that its algorithm promotes harmful content, allows underage users on the app, and it fails to warn users or their legal guardians of the app’s addictive nature.



TikTok has been criticized in the past for allowing dangerous challenges to spread.