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Tiktok Blackout Challenge: The Resurfacing Danger Taking Lives

Tiktok is no stranger to dangerous and life-threatening challenges and pranks on its platform. From climbing a tall stack of milk cartons to eating the hottest pepper, Tik Tok users have long been participating in provocations for a long time. Now, adding to the treacherous challenges is the resurfacing Tiktok Blackout Challenge.

What is Tiktok Black Out Challenge?

The blackout challenge is an online trend that encourages users to choke themselves to a point of passing out or choking consciously while posting the after results to Tiktok. However, the challenge is not a new trend. In fact, many of us can remember being challenged to hold our breaths in the late 2010s.

Previously popular as the “Speed Dreaming”, “Pass Out Challenge”, “The Fainting Game”, and “The Game of Choaking”, it has already taken dozens of lives in the past. Now, with the internet, the challenge has gained more popularity than ever.

Also Read: The Dark Side: Why is Social Media Glorifying Mental Illness?

Despite numerous warnings from medical professionals about the trend leading to severe brain damage, seizure, and even death; many continue to be a part of the online madness.

Tiktok Blackout Challenge: The Lost Lives

According to a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over the time of 1995 and 2007 over 82 kids have lost their lives to the “Choking Game.” The resurfacing of this treacherous challenge once again, on the world’s most popular website, whose majority of users are minor is alarming.

Here are a few of the recent and blood-curdling cases of the Tiktok Blackout Challenges:

A 10-Year Old Girl from Pennsylvania

Earlier this month, a 10-year old Pennsylvania girl, Nyla died attempting the Titktok blackout challenge. Though the family was at home during the incident, Nayla was attempting the trend in her bedroom alone.

On finding their daughter unconscious on the bed, the family rushed to the hospital, where the poor victim took her last breath and died on December 12.

A 12-Year Old Boy from Aurora

Joshua Haileyesus, a 12-year old was found breathless on his bathroom floor alongside his twin brother while trying to participate in the Blackout challenge on Tiktok.

This participation led the young boy to live on life support in the ICU of Children’s Hospital Denver Colo. The doctors believe the chances of survival are “extremely unlikely.”

A 10-Year Old Girl from Palermo

A 10-year old girl in Palermo was declared brain dead because of going under cardiac arrest while trying blackout challenge. A statement issued by the mayor of the state said, “I am in shock, as I think the whole city is in shock, for the tragedy that today saw a child victim of ‘social challenges.”

Explaining her case, Dr. Nick Flyn says, “What is actually going on in the brain is a lack of oxygen similar to when someone is drowning, choking, or having a cardiac arrest.” According to the doctor lack of oxygen in the brain can severely damage it and over five minutes of oxygen scarcity could lead to death.

Recently, Tiktok overtook Google as the most popular website globally. The company has also issued a statement regarding the recent death of its user while attempting the challenge on the platform, consoling the grieving family.

But, the blackout challenge is not the first and definitely not the last challenge to go out of hand. Witnessing the life threats and deaths Tiktok banned one of its dangerous trends known as the ‘milk crate challenge’ in September 2021.

From luring children to stealing from schools, (the devious licks challenge) to challenging people putting spoons full of pre-workout powder into their mouths with just a few sips of water (dry-scooping challenge) the platform is full of such nonsense and unsafe trends.

What Can You Do?

Though the Tiktok team has been trying to eradicate all the blackout challenge content from its platform. But, with over 1 billion daily views and thousands of fresh content flooding the media, taking down the harmful content before it grabs a few eyeballs is difficult.

Also Read: TikTok: The Unhealthy Glorification of Eating Disorder Amongst Teens

Therefore, Tiktok urges its users to report any content of the blackout challenge they come across. Any concerning video on Tiktok that flashes on your screen can be reported by hitting ‘Report’ in the white arrow at the right side of the video. By selecting the appropriate reason (‘Suicide, Self-harm, and Dangerous Acts’ in case of Blackout Challenge), you can bring the content to the attention of the administration.

Moreover, Tiktok advice to report the account on any user encouraging people to take part in life-threatening trends.

Word to the Wise

With over one billion users, Tiktok has become the most popular social media website. Gen Z makes about 60% of the platform users. The influence of social trends and challenges on young minds, especially when initiated by popular accounts is enormous.

Also Read: Is Celebrity Culture Poisoning Young Minds?

Keeping children safe of all the misinformation in today’s abundance of the information age is tough. Self-harm challenges and content are increasingly circulated online on different platforms. Now, that Facebook and Google have also started short-video content on their platform, the severity of such cases is likely to skyrocket, unless some rigid actions from the company and government are not taken.