“Children of primary school age do not have the knowledge or understanding to understand that this is dangerous,” she said.
One of the girls named in the lawsuit, 8-year-old Lalani Erica Walton of Temple, Texas, was described in the lawsuit as a sweet and outgoing child who loved to dress up as a princess and play with makeup. She wanted to be a famous rapper like Cardi B.
She got her first mobile phone on her 8th birthday on April 23, 2021 and quickly became “addicted” to TikTok, where she posted videos of herself singing and dancing in hopes of becoming “famous on TikTok,” the lawsuit says. .
After Lalani was seriously injured in a car accident that killed one of her stepbrothers, she moved in with her stepmother. The lawsuit alleges that in July 2021, the TikTok algorithm “channelled” Lalani without the knowledge of her mother or stepmother.
On July 13, 2021, Lalani had bruises on her neck and told her family that she fell and hit the bed frame, the lawsuit says. Soon after, she spent part, if not most, of a 20-hour car ride with her stepmother sitting in the back seat watching the blackout, the suit says.
On July 15, 2021, Lalani was found with a rope around his neck, the lawsuit says.
After her death, police seized Lalani’s phone and tablet and told her stepmother that “Lalani did not commit suicide,” the lawsuit says. The cop showed her stepmother the video of the blackout challenge and said Lalani watched the video on replay and tried the challenge herself, the lawsuit says.