The girl from the city of Palermo died after participating in the so-called ‘blackout challenge’, in which people are challenged to suffocate themselves for as long as possible. She was most likely challenged through TikTok. These kinds of dangerous challenges have been popping up on the video app for years.
The Italian privacy watchdog says it’s too easy for young users on TikTok to get around the rules. That is why TikTok should block all users in the country whose age it has not confirmed until February 15. The accounts can no longer upload videos and can no longer respond. It is not yet known exactly how many blocked accounts are involved and how TikTok should verify the ages.
TikTok, part of the Chinese company Bytedance, has long banned the use of the app by people under the age of 13, but it does not control the ages that users enter.
The company tells Italian media that user privacy and security is a ‘top priority’ and that it is working to better protect young users. The company recently announced that it will also implement more restrictions for users between the ages of 13 and 15.
The Italian police are still investigating who incited the girl to participate in the challenge.