Global Headlines
Minor boy dies in Britain after 'chroming' challenge goes wrong

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 08 Mar 2024, 04:03 am Print

Minor boy dies in Britain after 'chroming' challenge goes wrong TikTok

Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

The family of an 11-year-old from the United Kingdom has claimed that he died due to a challenge which is going on in the Chinese-owned app TikTok.

The child was identified as Tommie-lee Gracie Billington.

He was discovered in an unconscious state at a friend’s house in Greenset Close, Lancaster.

The child's grandmother claimed the child died due to a new dangerous online challenge called “chroming”.

Tina Burns said that the social media craze went wrong which led to the tragic death of the child.

"We need the cause, the reason to get out there in the media of what killed my grandson," said Tina in an emotional plea to the Lancashire Post.

She said: "He died instantly after a sleepover at a friend's house. The boys had tried the TikTok craze 'chroming'."

"Tommie-lee went into cardiac arrest immediately and died right there and then. The hospital did everything to try and bring him back but nothing worked. He was gone," she said.

Tina said following the death of the child, her family members want to raise awareness of the dangers of TikTok for youngsters, and they are calling on the social media giant to do more to safeguard children.

She told the newspaper: "Both our families are utterly devastated but we all want the same thing. We don't want any other children to follow TikTok or be on social media."

"In fact, we want to get TikTok taken down and no children to be allowed on any social media under 16 years of age," she said.

What is Chroming?

Chroming is also known as huffing or sniffing.

According to reports, internet users following the challenge are inhaling toxic chemicals as a part of the challenge.

The practice is extremely dangerous and can also result in slurred speech, dizziness, and hallucinations. Nausea, vomiting, and disorientation are also side effects, reports The Standard.

What is TikTok?

TikTok, whose mainland Chinese counterpart is Douyin, is a short-form video hosting service owned by ByteDance.

Several nations, including India and Nepal, have banned TikTok.

US stand

Meanwhile, a House committee advanced a bill on Thursday which could lead to the banning of the app across the US on all electronic devices.

The measure that sailed unanimously through the House Energy and Commerce Committee would prohibit TikTok from US app stores unless the social media platform — used by roughly 170 million Americans — is quickly spun off from its China-linked parent company, ByteDance, reported CNN.

The bill would give ByteDance 165 days to sell TikTok if the bill is enacted.

If not divested by that date, it would be illegal for app store operators such as Apple and Google to make it available for download, the American news channel reported.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers on Thursday said: "This morning, prior to our hearing, TikTok used its influence and power to force users to contact their representatives if they wanted to continue using TikTok.

“This is just a small taste of how the CCP weaponizes applications it controls to manipulate tens of millions of people to further its agenda.

“These applications present a clear national security threat to the United States and necessitate the decisive action we will take today," she said.

She said: “If Bytedance divests TikTok, meaning the Chinese Communist Party is no longer controlling the application, Tiktok can continue to operate in the United States."