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TikTok's Blackout Challenge sparks backlash after 12-year-old boy is left brain-dead 

A 12-year-old boy from Colorado is in critical condition after reportedly trying the “Blackout Challenge” on TikTok (Image via GoFundMe)
A 12-year-old boy from Colorado is in critical condition after reportedly trying the “Blackout Challenge” on TikTok (Image via GoFundMe)
ANALYST
Modified 01 Apr 2021
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A 12-year-old from Colorado, named Joshua Haileyesus, was reportedly left brain dead after he attempted TikTok's Blackout Challenge.

The unfortunate incident took place on March 22. His twin brother was the one who found him unconscious on the bathroom floor after he attempted the Blackout Challenge.

Joshua was declared brain dead by doctors, and his family was told to say goodbye. Considering his critical condition, the family started a GoFundMe to pay for his medical bills.

Joshua isn't the first child to fall victim to the Blackout Challenge. A 9-year-old from Trinidad died in January, while a 10-year-old from Italy faced the same cause of death in February. The Italian government restricted access to TikTok afterwards, and only users who could prove their age can use the app.

The Blackout Challenge is nothing new to TikTok, and there have been many challenges that are essentially the same with different names. These include the Passout Challenge or Speed Dreaming.

Each one of them involves TikTok users recording a video while they choke themselves with household items such as string. The idea is to pass out from the action while on video. However, that doesn't always end well, and the trend has clearly proven to be dangerous, especially with kids who don't know any better.


The Blackout Challenge on TikTok and other dangerous trends before it

Blackout Challenges aren't the first or the only trends that have gone viral on TikTok for being dangerous. Multiple trends have come and gone, and many of them have been condemned for how dangerous they can be.

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One such trend was the 'Benadryl Challenge' in which TikTok users were encouraged to take large amounts of Benadryl in order to experience hallucinogenic effects. Of course, that's a bad idea considering that the act can lead to an overdose and death.

Shortly after that, a challenge that involved parents throwing their babies off-camera went viral. Needless to say, that was also a potentially dangerous trend that many followed on the platform.

TikTok, as a company, has attempted to block searches for most of the trends in question. If users search the Blackout Challenge, they will be brought to absent results that will warn them about a dangerous challenge. However, it's possible that TikTok may need other rules to curb such dangerous trends.

Published 01 Apr 2021, 04:55 IST
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