Tik Tok Blackout Challenge

Delainey Root, MVC writer

The blackout challenge on TikTok, also known as the choking challenge, is a challenge in which the participants choke themselves until they pass out. This challenge has been circulating around the internet since at least 2008 and became popular in 2021. According to the CDC, this trend has more than forty deaths under its belt.
One of the most known cases is that of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee. On April 7, Battersbee was unconscious with a belt tied around his neck. After examination, it was revealed that the boy suffered severe brain damage and had very little chance of recovery; however, doctors were unable to perform brain stem testing, so he was never declared legally brain-dead. After three failed attempts by the family to get Battersbee moved to a hospice, on August 6th, the boy was removed from life support.
Outside of the hospital, his mother said, “Can I just say I’m the proudest mom in the world – such a beautiful little boy, and he fought right until the very end. And I’m so proud to be his mom.”
When someone is choked, it stops oxygen from reaching the brain. Dr. Nick Finn explained, “What is actually going on in the brain is a lack of oxygen similar to when someone is drowning, choking, or having cardiac arrest. If you have low oxygen to the brain for over three minutes you can get brain damage, and if you have low oxygen to the brain for over five minutes it can result in death.”
Many people have lost their lives to this trend. People are willing to get brain damage and even die just for the sake of a little social media fame. This is just one of several life threatening trends that have gone viral on social media in the last few years.