Italy takes action against TikTok following death of 10-year-old girl in Sicily.
Italy has temporarily blocked access to TikTok for users whose age cannot be verified, following the accidental death of a 10-year-old girl who allegedly took part in a “blackout challenge” on the Chinese-owned video-sharing network.
The move by Italy's data protection authority comes as prosecutors in Sicily launch an investigation into the death of the girl, Antonella, whose five-year-old sister found her in the family bathroom with her cellphone and a belt around her neck.
The girl was rushed to hospital in Palermo in cardiac arrest on 21 January, later dying of asphyxiation, in a case that has shocked Italy.
According to TikTok’s terms and conditions, users must be aged at least 13.
However Italy's data protection authority said that in December it had advised TikTok of a range of violations, including claims that the firm had failed to protect minors.
Italy's block on unverified users, ordered by the watchdog as a "matter of urgency," is expected to remain in place until at least 15 February.
TikTok stated that it had failed to identify any content that could have encouraged the girl to participate in any such challenge, but confirmed that it is collaborating with the investigation into possible "incitement to suicide."
Photo credit: DANIEL CONSTANTE / Shutterstock.com.
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Italy blocks underage TikTok users after 10-year-old girl dies in 'choking game'
Palermo, PA, Italy