Final yr, the US explored the potential for a ban on the video-sharing app TikTok, dwelling to viral movies and (as of late) the revival of sea shanties. Now, the time has come for an additional nation to show a vital eye to the app. Italy is proscribing entry to TikTok in order that solely individuals whose age will be confirmed can entry it. That’s comprehensible — TikTok itself requires customers to be not less than 13. The rationale for Italy’s crackdown is rooted in a tragic occasion — one with ties to a long-running and harmful apply that predates the smartphone period.
A brand new report at The Guardian provides more context. Final week, a 10-year-old lady died after being taken to a hospital in Palermo. She was discovered at dwelling by her sister; her mother and father revealed to native media that she had been taking part in “the blackout recreation.”
Also called the “blackout problem” and the “choking recreation,” the blackout recreation has been round for years. A 2018 article by Melissa Chan in Time identified an alarming statistic about this apply and its results: “82 youngsters between the ages of 6 and 19 died after taking part in the Choking Sport between 1995 and 2007.”
The Time article notes that social media has helped this apply unfold to a fair wider viewers than the phrase of mouth strategies of a pre-smartphone period. Given the flexibility of social media to show almost something right into a meme or problem, a model of the blackout recreation making it onto TikTok isn’t all that shocking — although it’s no much less unsettling for it.
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