On April 10, a 12-year-old boy from Colorado sadly passed away after being on life-support for 19 days due to participating in a TikTok challenge.
The 12-year-old boy, Joshua Haileyesus, was found unconscious on March 22 after choking himself for a TikTok challenge called the "Blackout Challenge". Joshua's family created a GoFundMe page to help cover the hospital bills and funeral expenses, and according to the page, "We would like to update everyone that this evening, after fighting the good fight on life support for 19 days, Joshua has gone off to be with the Lord."
TikTok has since commented on the 12-year-olds passing, saying to Associated Press, "At TikTok, we have no higher priority than protecting the safety of our community, and content that promotes or glorifies dangerous behavior is strictly prohibited and promptly removed to prevent it from becoming a trend on our platform." For those that don't know, the "blackout challenge" has been around for some time, but due to the discoverability on TikTok the challenge recently has gained popularity. People are challenged to choke themselves until they pass out.
The family of Joshua has written on the GoFundMe page, "We are also concerned for other families who like ourselves, may not be aware of the existence of the Blackout Challenge and others like it. We urge the community to spend awareness about Joshua and the real risks involved in not having knowledge of what kinds of activities children are involved in."
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