TikTok told to block users after girl’s death
Video-sharing giant TikTok has been told to block accounts of users if it cannot verify their age after a 10-year-old girl in Italy died taking part in a terrifying viral challenge.
Italian authorities ordered the social media platform to clamp down on young users to ensure they were not exposed to frightening or dangerous content after Antonella Sicomer, 10, accidentally chocked to death, according to reports.
It is believed she was taking part in the viral "blackout challenge" where TikTok users film themselves experimenting with asphyxiation.
Antonella told her family she was going for a shower - but investigators are said to believe she was really filming herself for the online craze.
Her heartbroken dad Angelo said another of Antonella's sisters told him she had been taking part in a TikTok challenge, La Repubblica reports.
He told the paper, "Antonella was playing the game of asphyxiation.
"My daughter, little Antonella, who dies because of an extreme game on TikTok, how can I accept it?"
Police in Sicily have seized Antonella's phone and are investigating possible links to social media sites, according to reports.
Like the dangerous Blue Whale challenge, the craze Antonella is feared to have joined is a sick game that has been popular on TikTok over the past year.
Experts have warned of the risks associated with these challenges, including fainting, seizures, brain damage and even death.
Public prosecutors in Palermo have opened two investigations for "instigation to suicide".
Antonella's mobile has been seized by investigators, who are looking into if she was broadcasting live, if she had been invited to play the game by someone else or if she was making the film for a friend.
Prosecutors also want to verify if she was copying videos of other TikTok users taking part in the challenge.
ANSA media agency report said she arrived at hospital in cardiac arrest last week.
Doctors fought to save her life but she was later declared brain dead and in an irreversible coma.
Her organs were donated to save three other children before her life support was switched off.
Dad Angelo said: "In this way, Antonella will save many children."
Originally published as TikTok told to block users after girl's death