According to SOMI, concerns about the Chinese platform among parents are greater than ever after another fatal incident with the so-called “blackout challenge” on TikTok. Plus, people let themselves suffocate for as long as possible while photographing themselves. Last month, a twelve-year-old American boy died as a result of this challenge. Earlier this year, a 10-year-old Italian girl died from the challenge of a power outage, her parents said. Children under the age of sixteen need permission from their parents to get a TikTok account, but according to SOMI, age verification is easy to circumvent.
SOMI had already appealed to Dutch and European regulators in January to take tougher action against TikTok. An appeal is also being made to Ireland, where TikTok has set up its European headquarters, to intervene immediately. SOMI states that in addition to the many serious challenges on TikTok, Social Media is also a paradise for predatory kids in search of victims.
Moreover, TikTok violates privacy rules, according to the organization preparing the class action lawsuit against the app. Participants come from all over Europe. SOMI co-founder Cor Wijtvliet says anyone with their own account or who has children with a TikTok account can participate in the claim.
TikTok said it will do a lot to ensure young users are safe. For example, user accounts between the ages of thirteen and fifteen will be set to private by default, and their videos will not be automatically seen by strangers. Moderators also block inappropriate videos and users can report offensive material. According to TikTok, the safety of young users is the number one priority.