China’s TikTok Claims Another Life: 12-Year-Old Girl Dies After Trying ‘Choking Challenge’

07 July 2022, Berlin: The logo of the video community TikTok at the fashion fair Premium.
Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images, Justin Chin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A 12-year-old girl in Argentina has died after participating in the deadly “choking challenge” first popularized on the China-owned app TikTok.

The girl’s death was filmed in a video call with her classmates watching as she attempting the choking challenge, also known as the “blackout challenge,” prompted by TikTok, reports El Litoral.

Shou Zi Chew, chief executive officer of TikTok Inc., during an interview at the TikTok office in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. (Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg/Getty)

The 12-year-old girl, Milagros Soto, was “encouraged” by her classmates to participate in the fatal TikTok challenge, which involved “recording herself and managing to hold her breath with an object tied to her neck until she fainted,” the report added.

Soto, who had lived in Capitán Bermúdez, Argentina, was found dead hanging in her room on Friday. Her relatives are now asking to “raise awareness” about the risks associated with viral TikTok challenges, so that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“my little niece… who lost her life today doing a tik tok challenge — my family and I are inconsolable,” the girl’s aunt, Laura Luque, wrote in a social media post on Friday.

An autopsy concluded that Soto had died of “mechanical asphyxiation by hanging,” El Litoral reported.

Soto is not the first child to die as a result of a TikTok challenge. Last summer, 14-year-old Leon Brown and 12-year-old Archie Battersbee of the UK allegedly died due to attempting the same “blackout challenge.”

These deaths are just the latest examples of how TikTok, owned by a hostile foreign country, is a danger for teens and kids. The Chinese app is known for encouraging children to participate in trends that are dangerous and life-threatening.

In another example, the FDA warned parents last September of a deadly new TikTok challenge that involves children cooking chicken in NyQuil, “presumably to eat.”

Another TikTok challenge in 2020 involved urging users to take large doses of the allergy medication Benadryl (diphenhydramine) to induce hallucinations. The challenge resulted in reports of teens being rushed to the hospital, and in some cases, dying.

To add insult to injury, the Chinese app also rewards young users by making them go viral or become “TikTok famous” for behaving foolishly. On one hand, this is accomplished by posting puerile dance videos, but on the other, it is for popularizing dangerous trends or posting sexual content.

Moreover, TikTok’s algorithm makes it easier for teenagers to go viral and gain internet fame when they post certain videos. All of this provides evidence for why the China-owned app should be banned in the U.S. and elsewhere.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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