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A 13-year-old Socorro County boy mimicking “blackout challenge” videos on TikTok fatally hanged himself in his family’s bathroom in 2020, a recent lawsuit alleges.
By the time family members found him, the boy’s heartbeat was so faint that they were unable to revive him.
The boy “died by accidentally hanging himself with a belt while attempting to accomplish the infamous TikTok Blackout Challenge – attempting to choke himself until he passed out,” the lawsuit alleges.
First responders pronounced the boy dead at his family’s home in Polvadera on Aug. 19, 2020.
The suit, filed in the 1st Judicial District Court in Santa Fe, alleges TikTok is marketing “a dangerously defective product to millions of children” and seeks unspecified damages.
The lawsuit also names as a defendant TikTok’s parent company, Bytedance Inc.
TikTok, based in Culver City, California, is a wildly popular social media app that specializes in short-form video sharing. The company has reported more than 3 billion downloads worldwide since it was launched outside China in 2017.
TikTok and ByteDance did not immediately respond Wednesday to requests for comment.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Joleen Youngers, a Santa Fe attorney and court-appointed representative for the deceased boy. The suit did not identify the boy or any members of his family.