Parents Warned Over Deadly Kid’s TikTok Challenge
Parents have expressed concern about the increasing number of deadly challenges aimed at children on the social media app TikTok.
TikTok has come under fire for allegedly promoting a slew of trending themed challenges that are said to promote violence and other vices.
It was also accused of enticing children to participate in dangerous challenges using its algorithms.
It was claimed that the app’s algorithms take advantage of underage users who are unable to control their impulses and emotions.
TikTok is the subject of several lawsuits, the most recent of which was filed in the United States. In this case, it was accused of promoting a “blackout challenge” using its algorithm.
Two girls died while attempting the challenge, one of whom died by self-strangulation.
According to additional reports, TikTok was a factor in the deaths of children in Italy and Australia.
TikTok’s app and algorithm are designed to maximize user engagement and dependence, and it powerfully encourages users to watch, share, and attempt viral challenges in a repetitive and dopamine-driven feedback loop.
Some of the more dangerous challenges include the “Skull Breaker Challenge,” in which a challenger’s legs are kicked while jumping, forcing them to flip and hit their heads.
Another, dubbed the “Coronavirus Challenge,” involved licking random items and surfaces in public, encouraging defiance of health measures aimed at containing the pandemic’s spread.
The “Fire challenge” required subassemblies to be doused in flammable liquid before being set ablaze.
According to a recent Mozilla Foundation study
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TikTok was also accused of promoting videos with messages bordering on hate speech, incitement, and political disinformation in a recent Mozilla Foundation study published by Aljazeera.
Several users and tech experts have also expressed concern that TikTok, which is owned by China-based ByteDance, has featured and promoted a slew of challenges in which users film themselves performing themed and sometimes dangerous acts.