Italy blocks TikTok for certain young users after a new video trend killed a young girl who also took part in the new trend. Italian prosecutors are now investigating the incident after the accidental death of a 10-year-old girl.
The new trending challenge on TikTok is called the “Blackout Challenge.” The probe came as Italy announced it had temporarily blocked access to the popular application for users whose age could not be proved definitively.
TikTok’s current terms and conditions state that the users or participants on the popular social media platform must be at least 13 years old. The young girl died in a Palermo hospital after her five-year-old sister discovered her in the family bathroom with her cellphone on Wednesday, Jan. 20.
The device was immediately seized by the police. TikTok, the social media application owned by Chinese company ByteDance, explained on Friday that their team already managed to identify any content on its site that could have encouraged the girl to participate. The company is also coordinating with the authorities to know if it is also a possible suicide incident.
A TikTok spokesman said that “the safety of the community is our absolute priority, for this motive we do not allow any content that encourages, promotes or glorifies behavior that could be dangerous.”
However, the Italian Data Protection Authority still insisted that it would block TikTok, and it will start on Feb. 15. When this date arrives they agency said that the network would have to meet the regulator’s demands.
Medical experts explained that the new blackout challenge, also known as the choking game, could be dangerous to some young people.
The deceased young girl’s parents said that their other daughter informed them that her sister was participating in the challenge. The girl’s father said that they didn’t know anything about the new TikTok trend and how it works.
He added that they had no idea that their 10-year-old daughter would be participating in the dangerous game since they only see her watching dancing videos on the popular social media platform.
What is TikTok Blackout Challenge?
TikTok’s new blackout challenge recently gained the attention of many users. It encourages the participants to choke themselves until they pass out.
The main goal here is for the app’s users to wake out a moment later while the video is still running. However, many experts said that it is a dangerous challenge to do and advises the users to refrain from doing it.
They also urged the public to report any similar video they see on the popular app or any social media platform. The new trend was based on the previous Pass Out Challenge.
In this game, the users will move their heads from side to side until they finally pass out.
How to report the new trend
Reporting the new trend is very easy. All you need to do is to click the video’s arrow, which is located on the right corner of the screen. After that, you need to tap the flag that says “report.” Choose the “suicide, self-harm, and dangerous acts” option from the list.
On the other hand, if you notice that a user is showing suicidal signs, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255). All these activities will save someone out there who is having suicidal thoughts or just participating in dangerous online challenges.