TikTok immune from lawsuit over woman’s loss of life from ‘blackout problem’ -judge By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – TikTok app emblem is seen on this illustration taken, August 22, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Brendan Pierson

(Reuters) – TikTok Inc gained dismissal of a lawsuit accusing it of inflicting the loss of life of a 10-year-old woman by selling a lethal “blackout problem” that inspired folks to choke themselves on its video-based social media platform.

U.S. District Choose Paul Diamond in Philadelphia dominated Tuesday that the corporate was immune from the lawsuit underneath part of the federal Communications Decency Act that shields publishers of others’ work.

“The knowledge of conferring such immunity is one thing correctly taken up with Congress, not the courts,” Diamond wrote.

Jeffrey Goodman, a lawyer for the woman’s mom, Tawainna Anderson, mentioned in a press release that the household would “proceed to battle to make social media secure in order that no different youngster is killed by the reckless conduct of the social media business.”

TikTok didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Anderson sued TikTok and its Chinese language guardian firm ByteDance Inc in Might, saying the corporate’s algorithm confirmed her daughter, Nylah Anderson, a video suggesting the blackout problem.

In December 2021, Nylah tried the blackout problem utilizing a handbag strap hung in her mom’s closet, dropping consciousness and struggling extreme accidents, in accordance with the lawsuit. She was rushed to a hospital however died 5 days later.

TikTok and ByteDance moved to dismiss the case, saying that underneath Part 230 of the Communications Decency Act, they might not be held accountable for publishing third-party content material. Diamond, whereas saying that the circumstances had been “tragic,” agreed.

TikTok and different social media corporations, together with Fb (NASDAQ:) and Instagram guardian Meta Platforms Inc and YouTube guardian Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc, are dealing with a rising variety of lawsuits across the nation in search of to carry them accountable for inflicting younger folks to turn out to be hooked on their merchandise, and in some circumstances inflicting hurt together with consuming problems, self-injury and suicide.

A federal judicial panel earlier this month consolidated dozens of such circumstances in a brand new mass tort in a federal courtroom in Oakland, California.

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