Nylah Anderson is the fifth child to die from a TikTok challenge. The 10-year-old American girl died after holding her breath too long, and even fainting, during the so-called “blackout challenge” on the social network. Now the mother is accusing TikTok of murder.
Last Thursday, May 12, Tawainna Anderson has filed a lawsuit in which she accuses TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, of being a “manipulative and predatory app that promotes excessive and dangerous challenges”, as the “Observer”.
In the same vein, Nylah’s mother explains that, a few days before her daughter’s death, the social network had already offered videos of the “blackout challenge” to the 10-year-old girl. From then on, the American attributed Nylah Anderson’s decision to take up the challenge to the platform’s algorithm.
The “blackout challenge” consists of holding your breath until you pass out. In the case of Nylah Anderson, the young girl accidentally hung herself with a hanger and a suitcase, following the indications of the TikTok videos, while her mother was downstairs. After Tawainna found her daughter, Nylah was taken to hospital, where she remained for five days until her death. After the death of the American child, a scan of the young woman’s mobile phone revealed that Nylah had seen one of the challenge videos before the accident.
“I keep reliving that day in my head,” Tawainna Anderson said Thursday, according to The Washington Post. Every day,” said the American.
Nylah Anderson is the fifth child to die from the blackout challenge: in April 2020, a 14-year-old boy died in Australia, and the following year, in January, a 10-year-old boy died in Italy. Also in 2021, in April, a 12-year-old boy died in the state of Colorado, United States, and another 12-year-old lost his life in July, in Oklahoma.
“Blackout Challenge” – what can parents do to stop it?
Unfortunately, this is not the first challenge that puts young people at risk. From the blue whale to the dangers of Momo, with the proliferation of social media in recent years, we have seen the growing dangers of online for children. But, as parents and educators, what can we do to protect our children without more drastic measures, such as a 100% ban on internet access?
Filipa Jardim da Silvaa clinical psychologist, explained to MAGG — in the Jonathan Galindo case — that these viral challenges have “repeated and proliferated in recent years”. “They are the downside of social media and the internet, which only increases the importance for parents and educators to teach children good online usage practices.”
The specialist explains that it is “fundamental” for parents and educators to face this new reality of social networks, and warns that the way is not to frighten the youngest, but to inform and encourage them. empowering to make conscious choices.
“More than watching, we need to empower them to make wise choices that can protect them. We cannot forget that these challenges always target a more vulnerable and suggestible age group, who like to have secrets with their peers, something hidden from parents and teachers. We must educate children to use the internet, social networks, and take the time to explain to children what are good practices and, on the contrary, what can present dangers.
For Filipa Jardim da Silva, more than “sowing panic or restricting access to the Internet”, close supervision by parents is important to teach young people “to be themselves to detect dangerous content and report it in a context familiar “.
And how can parents and educators be aware of and teach these practices without doing so in an intrusive or controlling way? “It is important to map access to online content, in particular via the various parental control software that exist.. Then, in addition to the time they should be spending teaching online best practices, parents should have open conversations about the content their children accessed that day.. For example, in addition to those conversations you have about the school day, about friends, parents should also ask questions on screens. If the children saw something on the Internet that they found funny and wanted to share, and also if they saw something that made them feel uncomfortable or that they didn’t understood,” said the clinical psychologist.
“Dialogue and observation are very important”, but the psychologist supposes that it is an exercise which is not always easy. “It is true that it is a very difficult exercise, because the parents do not have crystal balls, and the observation is more like a marathon. You have to insist and be ready to ask several times what is happening , without getting a response.”