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10-Year-Old Girl Dies After Allegedly Taking Part in TikTok Game 

The 10-year-old girl who allegedly participated in a “blackout challenge” on TikTok.

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World
2 min read
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Italian prosecutors have launched an investigation into the unexpected death of a 10-year-old girl who allegedly participated in a "blackout challenge" on TikTok, the video-sharing social network, AFP reported.

The girl passed away in a hospital in Palermo after she was discovered on Wednesday, 20 January, by her five-year-old sister in her bathroom with her mobile phone, which has been seized by police.

Owned by Chinese company ByteDance, the social media platform said on Friday that it hadn’t identified any content on its site that could have made the girl to participate in the challenge, but was helping the authorities over possible "incitement to suicide" case, AFP reported.

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A spokesperson from TikTok said, “The safety of the TikTok community is our absolute priority, for this motive we do not allow any content that encourages, promotes or glorifies behaviour that could be dangerous,” AFP quoted.

The “blackout” challenge is also referred to as "scarfing" or "the choking game", as the idea behind it is to restrict oxygen to the brain so it results in a high. Medical experts have warned about the danger of the this.

While speaking to La Repubblica newspaper, the girls' parents said that their other daughter informed them that her sister "was playing the blackout game".

The girl’s father said, "We didn't know she was participating in this game. We knew that (our daughter) went on TikTok for dances, to look at videos. How could I imagine this atrocity?" AFP quoted.

Italy's data protection agency has filed a lawsuit against TikTok in December, accusing them of "lack of attention to the protection of minors" and criticising the easy access to the video app among children.

(With inputs from AFP)

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