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A person interacts with a mobile phone displaying the TikTok app. The complaint claims the dangerous dare was “thrust in front” of the child on her “for you page” (FYP). The content featured on the FYP is determined by an algorithm that takes into account viewing preferences, account settings, and even the user’s current state of mind. (Credit: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

TikTok Inc. has been sued by the family of a 10-year-old girl who died after allegedly participating in an online challenge in which TikTok users choked themselves until they blacked out. The case is Anderson v. TikTok Inc., 22-cv-01849, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

It is unclear in the complaint and subsequent reporting whether or not TikTok has a liability policy in place, but if the company does have liability coverage this lawsuit will likely trigger the insurers’ duty to defend. These lawsuits are highlighting the habit of social media giants of seizing opportunities arising in the new digital age to manipulate and control the behavior of vulnerable children to “maximize attention dedicated to their social media platforms and thus maximize revenues and profits, all while shirking any safety responsibilities whatsoever,” states the lawsuit.

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