Italy has ordered the blocking of the social network Tik Tok throughout the country after the death yesterday of a ten-year-old girl. Antonella Sicomero, born in the city of Palermo, was found by her five-year-old sister in the bathroom of her home, hanging by the belt of a bathrobe from the towel rack. The youngest would have accepted the “Blackout challenge”, a macabre challenge in which the participants must hold their breath, winning the one who resists the longest.
Thus, the entity in charge of the protection of personal data in Italy has decided to block the social network until, at least, next February 15. Alleges that Tik Tok it is not able to verify the real age of its users and that, despite the fact that the platform establishes the minimum threshold for registration at 13 years, there is no way, as in most social networks, to verify the veracity of the information provided.
The competent body had already criticized the Chinese social network last December for its “scant attention to the protection of minors” and the ease with which they evaded the age limit, as well as the lack of transparency of the information offered to children. users.
The platform that Italy now temporarily blocks has about 100 million users in Europe and is the preferred app for teens in different parts of the world. After what happened, he issued a statement in which he assured that “the safety of the TikTok community is its highest priority.” “We are at the disposal of the competent authorities to collaborate in any investigation,” they say.
Investigation of the Prosecutor’s Office
Given what happened with little Antonella Sicomero, which has caused a thorough review of the use of social networks in the country, the Palermo prosecutor’s office has already opened an investigation for “incitement to suicide”.
Likewise, the girl’s mobile phone was seized by the investigators, who will have to determine if she was in contact with other participants and if someone invited her to join the challenge.