The teenager died after participating in a TikTok challenege that asked participants to inhale solvents.
It is thought that the young girl was participating in a TikTok trend known as “chroming”, where participants are asked to inhale toxic substances to create a temporary high, all the while streaming their reaction on the social media network.
The girl’s tragic death has prompted the group CyberSafeKids to issue a statement to the government that social media needs more regulation, and that the raising of standards and accountability will be necessary in order to protect children and teens from the more predatory aspects of the internet, such as intentionally harmful TikTok challenges, fake news designed to inspire hatred and xenophobia, and those who wish to exploit children.
The cyber safety watchdog have claimed that children are being targeted daily online by harmful material or contact with people who wish to do them harm.
Content centered around drug use, sexual acts, suicidal ideation, and violence are being funneled to children and teens on a daily basis via social media, says the online watchdog.
According to their reasearch, CyberSafeKids found that 60% of children online had been contacted by a stranger while playing online games.
The group say that imposing financial penalities on platforms that do not conform to a standard that better protects children online could be a step forward.
Just recently, TikTok were fined by the Data Protection Commission of Ireland to the tune of €345 million for processing children’s data.