TikTok blocked for some users in Italy over 'blackout game' allegations

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 23
Italy's Data Protection Authority has blocked access to TikTok for some users in the country who cannot prove their age, in the wake of the death of a 10-year-old girl attempting to take part in a dangerous "challenge."




The country's data regulator issued orders to block access to the social video site for any user who cannot definitively prove their age. While TikTok's own terms and conditions mandate users be at least 13 years old, the ban affects practically all users that the app cannot accurately determine are of an appropriate age.

The order follows after a girl's death in a Palermo hospital, admitted after being found unconscious in the family bathroom with her smartphone. One of the girl's sisters told the parents she was "playing the blackout game," reports The Guardian.

The so-called TikTok challenge is also known as "scarfing" or "the choking game," and revolves around the idea of participants restricting how much oxygen reaches the brain to experience a high. This would involve suffocation or choking, which is a risk to life.

Under the order, TikTok must prevent access to unverifiable users in Italy until February 15 at the earliest. The ban does not affect users in other territories, only those based in Italy.

"The safety of the TikTok community is our absolute priority," a TikTok spokesman said. "For this motive we do not allow any content that encourages, promotes, or glorifies behavior that could be dangerous."

This is not the first time TikTok has run afoul of Italy's data regulator. It is already the subject of a lawsuit from December, which alleged a "lack of attention to the protection of minors," in that it is extremely easy for children younger than 13 to sign up for an account using a fake date of birth.

The incident also sparked reactions by politicians in the country, with critics calling for more regulation of social networks. Italian parliamentary commission for child protection president Licia Ronzulli said "Social networks can't become a jungle where anything is allowed."

The close scrutiny of TikTok in Italy may prompt similar actions in other countries, especially due to the victim's young age. Such actions can also lead to heavy fines and other corrective actions.

For example, the U.S. FTC fined Google and YouTube $170 million in 2019 to settle allegations of violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act(COPPA). This included allegedly collecting data on YouTube's youngest users and doing so without gaining consent from parents beforehand, while the use of cookies enabled the tracking and identification of underage users for targeted advertising.
Alex1N

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    Common sense not withstanding, it seems that those who originate or post themselves participating in these deadly "games" and "Challenges" should be held accountable for anyone that dies from such games -- Accomplices.  Why are these even allowed to be put on the internet?  Videos of people practically suffocating themselves for others to duplicate?
    elijahg
  • Reply 2 of 5
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,155member
    I’m glad this conversation is available to have and comment on. I’m finding too many “Discussions not Found” on too many AI articles these days, which is unfortunate.
    As for this article,  I think of the movie “Jackass”.
    People are allowed to do really stupid things, but enforcing  a minimum age requirement is not a bad idea.
    edited January 24 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 5
    I remember stupid thing like this from elementary, press another persons chest until loses consciousness. Internet makes these idiotic fads just viral. Young kids do stupid stuff, when they learn there will be next batch to redo the same things and so on.

    But I think in general kids today do less dangerous things compared to my age group and I feel that I did less dangerous than my parents by their stories. 
  • Reply 4 of 5
    ITGUYINSD said:
    Common sense not withstanding, it seems that those who originate or post themselves participating in these deadly "games" and "Challenges" should be held accountable for anyone that dies from such games -- Accomplices.  Why are these even allowed to be put on the internet?  Videos of people practically suffocating themselves for others to duplicate?
    So you want to do things like hold 12yos accountable for the death of a 10yo that copied what they did?!

    What you did there was nothing but a type of victim-blaming. You completely ignored the often old men making millions upon millions in profit, and headed straight to wanting to punish children for other children copying them.

    And then you went on to some generalised "shouldn't be allowed"-thing.

    So your shown priorities went:
    1. Blame children.
    2. This isn't good.
    3. *nothing*

    Don't you think that if you talk about holding anyone "accountable" (a word you even used) it should be the ones profiting from all this? The ones that actually could do something, but don't want to use their profit to actually make the product safe? Don't you think that that should have been the first thing I read in your comment?
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 5
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,005member
    ITGUYINSD said:
    Common sense not withstanding, it seems that those who originate or post themselves participating in these deadly "games" and "Challenges" should be held accountable for anyone that dies from such games -- Accomplices.  Why are these even allowed to be put on the internet?  Videos of people practically suffocating themselves for others to duplicate?
    Common sense? Your proposal is completely devoid of any common sense.  Under your moronic standard, if someone mimics a UFC fighter and kills someone, then the fighter, his manager, his promoter, and the network executives are all accomplices who should go to jail for murder.

    Talk about stupid.  
    watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.