TikTok responded to the loss of life of a 13-year-old Ohio boy who overdosed whereas taking part within the “Benadryl problem” on its platform, stating that it had “by no means seen any such content material pattern” and had blocked searches on the subject for years.
The social media platform’s response comes days after Jacob Stevens died after spending practically per week on a ventilator. The teenager was at residence with pals, who have been recording him, when he took greater than a dozen Benadryl drugs as a part of the problem, in accordance with native outlet ABC 6. Stevens then began seizing and was taken to the hospital, the place medical doctors proceeded to inform the teenager’s household that he would by no means get up.
“No mind scan, there was nothing there. [Doctors] stated we might maintain him on the vent that he might lay there however he won’t ever open his eyes, he’ll by no means breathe, smile, stroll or speak,” Justin Stevens, Jacob’s father, instructed ABC 6.
“At TikTok, we strictly prohibit and take away content material that promotes harmful conduct with the protection of our neighborhood as a precedence. Now we have by no means seen any such content material pattern on our platform and have blocked searches for years to assist discourage copycat conduct,” the spokesperson instructed Dexerto. “Our crew of 40,000 security professionals works to take away violations of our Neighborhood Pointers and we encourage our neighborhood to report any content material or accounts they’re involved about.”
Nonetheless, the assertion that TikTok has by no means seen any such content material pattern on its platform is tough to imagine. Harmful challenges just like the Benadryl problem have been widespread information for years. The Meals and Drug Administration issued a particular warning concerning the Benadryl problem again in 2020.
Gizmodo reached out to TikTok on Thursday morning however didn’t instantly obtain a response.
Manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, Benadryl is an over-the-counter drugs used to deal with allergy symptoms and accommodates diphenhydramine, an antihistamine. On its web site, Johnson & Johnson states that Benadryl is protected and efficient when used as directed on the label. Whereas dosage varies by age and by particular Benadryl product, the remedy’s tips state that typically, folks ought to take between 1-2 tablets each 4 to 6 hours.
Taking greater than the advisable quantity can result in coronary heart issues, seizures, coma, and even loss of life, in accordance with the FDA.
Johnson & Johnson acknowledged the hazard of the TikTok Benadryl problem on its web site and stated it was working with TikTok and different social media platforms to take away the content material.
“We perceive that buyers could have heard about a web based “problem” involving the misuse or abuse of diphenhydramine. The problem, which includes ingestion of extreme portions of diphenhydramine, is a harmful pattern and must be stopped instantly,” the corporate stated. “BENADRYL® merchandise and different diphenhydramine merchandise ought to solely be used as directed by the label.”
Justin Stevens, Jacob’s father, stated he had reached out to Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine about placing an age restriction on shopping for remedy like Benadryl, ABC 6 reported. Justin Stevens stated getting a restriction enacted was now his “life objective.” Relating to social media, Justin Stevens suggested different mother and father to control what their youngsters have been doing.
“Maintain an eye fixed at what they’re doing on that cellphone. Discuss to them concerning the state of affairs,” Justin Stevens stated. “I need everybody to find out about my son.”