Tiktok Not Liable for Child Dying in ‘Blackout Challenge’

5 December, 2022 | Pranay Lad

tiktok World

Even if the video was suggested to Nylah Anderson via TikTok, US District Judge in Philadelphia ruled that a federal law absolved the firm from responsibility for her death.

A judge found the video-sharing platform ‘TikTok’ is not responsible for the death of a 10-year-old girl who viewed a video dubbed the “Blackout Challenge” that urged viewers to choke themselves.

Even if the video was suggested to Nylah Anderson via the video-sharing platform’s app, US District Judge Paul Diamond in Philadelphia ruled that a federal law absolved the firm from responsibility for her death.

The Blackout Challenge challenges viewers to record themselves passing out from choking. Multiple children’s deaths have been attributed to variations of the challenge that have been posted on various platforms. In federal courts in Oakland and Los Angeles, TikTok is facing further wrongful death cases related to the controversy.

According to court documents, Anderson was discovered hanging from a handbag strap in a cupboard of her Pennsylvania home in December 2021. TikTok was allegedly sued by her mother for recommending the youngster watch the video on her “For You Page.”

In an eight-page decision on Tuesday, Diamond stated that TikTok couldn’t be sued even if the app had suggested the video to the youngster. He said that recommending a film to a user is “exactly the behaviour” covered by the federal Communications Decency Act’s Section 230 immunity. “Congress, not the courts, should appropriately address the propriety of granting such immunity,” he continued.

In an effort to protect online content providers from being buried in mounds of lawsuits based on the content uploaded by users on their platforms, Congress added Section 230 to the 1996 statute.

The Andersons’ attorney said that the family disagreed with the judge’s reading of Section 230.

The federal Communications Decency Act was never designed to let social media businesses to disseminate harmful information to children, and the Andersons will keep fighting for our kids’ safety from a sector that preys on children for financial gain, according to Jeffrey Goodman.

Anderson v. TikTok Inc., 22-cv-01849, Eastern District of Pennsylvania US District Court (Philadelphia).