The mother of the late Archie Battersbee thinks that at least 82 deaths have been linked to the “blackout game” that killed her son.
In her first interview since Archie’s death, Hollie Dance says social media companies need to tackle the deadly challenge.
Speaking to the Mail, Hollie said: “The social media companies don’t do enough to stop harmful content online.”
“It’s out there and people are grooming our children to do these challenges, it’s disgusting. The people – they’re often adults, not children – who are demonstrating these challenges are sick.”
Hollie says she recently found a video of a man in his 30s trying to do a similar challenge, where he puts something around his neck and pulls it tight.
“This is a grown man demonstrating this ‘trick’ to children. Those people need to be held accountable. The police and the Government need to work together to stop this,” she said.
People have asked the government to take action faster on these online challenges so that more cases like Archie’s don’t happen.
Jamie Stone, a spokesman for the Lib Dems, has said that delays to the Online Safety Bill are bad.
“It’s more than four years since Conservative ministers promised new laws to tackle online harms, but we’re still waiting. We need clear, tough laws.”
However, speaking to the Mail, a spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokeswoman said:
“The Online Safety Bill will force tech firms to protect children from dangerous viral stunts. Failing firms will face huge fines or have their sites blocked.”
Archie, who was 12 when he died earlier this month, had been in a coma for more than four months after a ligature was found around his neck.
In May, a high court judge decided that a brain stem test would be best for Archie. This gave his family hope.
Doctors found out at the end of that month that Archie’s simulation test did not work.
In June, a high court judge ruled that Archie was dead and that doctors could legally stop treating him. This was terrible news for the family.
Archie’s parents went to a number of courts to try to change the original decision of the high court, but they were not successful.
Hollie now wants to make sure that no other parents have to go through what she did.
In her final comments to the mail, she said: “That’s the legacy I want for Archie. I want to protect kids and the loved ones left behind. It’s unbearable.”