A product liability lawsuit filed on Thursday in Philadelphia federal court seeks to hold TikTok and its parent company ByteDance liable for the death of a young girl. A product liability lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm who is following the case explains how this products liability lawsuit differs from other legal cases against social media companies.
The plaintiffs are parents of a 10-year-old girl who died from asphyxiation after attempting a “blackout challenge” that she viewed on the video-sharing app. The plaintiff asserts that TikTok is liable for the child’s death because the application’s algorithm promotes dangerous content and builds addiction in its users.
Social Media Product Liability Claim
This lawsuit is unique from other lawsuits against social media platforms that typically focus on data privacy or content moderating issues. Instead, the plaintiff’s lawyers for social media seek to prove that the defendants are responsible for the independent conduct of the designers, programmers, manufacturers and distributors of dangerous social media products and acts of negligence. They contend that TikTok uses a heavily promoted algorithm that customizes suggested videos to each specific user. Therefore, the plaintiff’s product liability lawyers state that the case is centered on the premise that TikTok actively promotes dangerous videos directly to users.
In this case, the plaintiff claims that her daughter viewed the video suggested to her on her “TikTok For You Page.” After viewing the video, she attempted to perform the Blackout Challenge trend that encouraged users to choke themselves to the point of unconsciousness. The plaintiff’s product liability lawyer claims that the TikTok algorithm tailored the Blackout Challenge to be of interest to the young child, who died as a result.
A spokesperson for TikTok states that the Blackout Challenge was well known prior to TikTok was never a TikTok trend. They purport That TikTok is committed to user safety and removal of dangerous video content if identified.
The lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm are exploring social media product liability claims. Social media and technology companies have recently been likened to Big Tobacco. These companies have vigorously acted to manipulate the behavior of their users to maximize profits, often at the expense of safety responsibilities. If you have suffered harm as the result of a negligent social media platform, reach out to a lawyer for social media. Our lawyers can advise you of the legal options available to you and support filing a claim for damages.
Contact Product Liability Lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC
The lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC have years of experience holding negligent companies liable for defective products. Social media and tech companies who act negligently may be liable for harm caused to their users. Call today to schedule a free consultation with an attorney to understand your rights. We can help you seek compensation for your injuries, and we never charge a fee unless we win money for you. Call 215-666-7777 to speak directly with a lawyer or send us a message via the online form.