TikTok ‘Blackout Challenge’ Blamed for the Death of 12-Year-Old Colorado Boy
A 12-year-old Colorado boy, who joined the TikTok "Blackout Challenge" that dared people to choke themselves until they lose consciousness, died on Saturday.
Joshua Haileyesus reportedly participated in the Blackout Challenge two weeks ago. His family created a GoFundMe page and said that the Colorado boy was on life support for 19 days after his brother found him unresponsive in a bathroom on Mar. 22.
According to Crime Online, Joshua Haileyesus used a shoelace to participate in the said TikTok challenge. Also known as the "Passout Challenge," it has been popularized not only on TikTok, but also on YouTube. But a search for the phrase on the TikTok app showed no results.
A message on the splash page reads that this phrase may be associated with behavior or content that violates the platform's guidelines. It added that TikTok's top priority is promoting a safe and positive experience.
TikTok' Blackout Challenge'
Authorities are warning users to stop participating in the TikTok Blackout Challenge, which can lead to asphyxiation. According to an In The Know report, the challenge requires participant to choke themselves until they pass out and wake up moments later.
Aside from the Colorado boy that died due to this challenge, a 10-year-old girl in Italy also died doing the TikTok Blackout Challenge last January. The Italian girl was declared brain dead after going into cardiac arrest.
"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'," Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando said in a report.
Experts said that participating in the said challenge can result in fainting, brain damage, and seizures even when it is not deadly. Dr. Nick Flynn noted that what is going on in the brain is a lack of oxygen, like drowning, choking, or cardiac arrest.
Flynn added that if one has low oxygen to the brain for more than three minutes, they can get brain damage. When it reaches more than five minutes, it can lead to death.
This was not the first time that a TikTok challenge that had become popular on the social media platform raised concerns.
Last year, the TikTok Skull Breaker Challenge emerged, a challenge involving an unsuspecting person that needs to stand between two others and jump. The two kick their legs behind the jumper's legs, causing the person to fall on their back.
Many reports of serious injuries quickly emerged as a result of this challenge, according to Screen Rant. TikTok responded regarding the matter, saying that they do not allow content that encourages dangerous behavior that could lead to injury.
"While we have not currently found evidence of content on our platform that might have encouraged such an incident off-platform, we will continue to monitor closely as part of our continuous commitment to keep our community safe," TikTok said in a report.
A number of people have called TikTok a "trash" after allegedly promoting harmful behaviors to younger users.
Another challenge that is deemed dangerous is the Throw It in the Air or Concussion Challenge, wherein participants huddle together with their heads bent and throws an object into the air.
During this challenge, nobody in the circle is allowed to move until after the object lands on someone, Distractify reported.
WATCH: 12-Year-Old Joshua Haileyesus In Critical Condition After Trying 'Blackout Challenge' - From CBS Denver
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