Deadly trending TikTok ‘scarf game’ challenge claims another teenager’s life

Christy Sibali Dominique Gloire Gassaille, a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is said to have tried the deadly prank last month while at home. Picture: Cottonbro Pexels

Christy Sibali Dominique Gloire Gassaille, a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is said to have tried the deadly prank last month while at home. Picture: Cottonbro Pexels

Published Jun 13, 2023


In an attempt to play the popular “scarf game”, a fatal variation of TikTok’s “blackout challenge” that has claimed several lives over the past year, a 16-year-old girl in France died last month.

Christy Sibali Dominique Gloire Gassaille, who was at home when she attempted the lethal prank, is a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Apparently, she died on May 27.

The risky endeavour entails wrapping a rag around your neck and asphyxiating yourself until you pass out for purported internet clout. Sadly, similar to the “blackout challenge”, this exploit can reduce the amount of oxygen getting to the brain, which can lead to seizures, severe injury, and even death.

On June 7, Gassaille was buried at the Fleury-les-Aubrais cemetery not far from her Orléans, France, home. Her death is part of a trend started by the choking challenges that have gained popularity on the TikTok app, which is controlled by China.

Today, searching for “scarf game” on TikTok returns the message “no results found”. According to Times Now News, this phrase may be connected to actions or materials that go against TikTok’s policies.

Milagros Soto, 12, died in Argentina in January after attempting the lethal trend with a handmade noose. The act was reportedly caught on camera. Soto’s motivation for undertaking the challenge is unknown; however, according to her aunt, she was teased at school and got a WhatsApp message with a link to the challenge.

The grieving relative thinks she was persuaded to do it by someone. The family claims that the bullying caused her great suffering. The loss of the girl saddened the neighbourhood. A representative for Soto's school said they would continue to support their student’s family in this painful moment, adding that she was a great student, friend, sweet, good and kind.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that the same viral problems killed UK teenagers Leon Brown, 14, and Archie Battersbee, 12, last summer. Just a few weeks prior to Brown’s death, 12-year-old Archie Battersbee, also a Briton, reportedly died from the same viral threat.

Lauryn Keating, a 30-year-old mother from Scotland, described the horrifying occurrence to the Daily Record after she discovered her son Leon unconscious in his room at their Cumbernauld, UK, home on August 25.

A police spokesperson confirmed the incident in a statement, saying: “We were made aware of the sudden death of a 14-year-old boy at Ochilview Court in Cumbernauld around 8am on Thursday, 25 August, 2022.” There are no eerie circumstances surrounding his demise, according to the police report published by The New York Post.

Versions of this challenge have reportedly been around for a while. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has linked the choking game to 82 fatalities between 1995 and 2008.

This trend, also known as the “pass-out challenge” or the “choking challenge”, encouraged children to asphyxiate themselves to the point of momentary unconsciousness. According to Fox, the blackout challenge has recently been connected to the deaths of roughly 20 minors.

Teenagers are more susceptible to social influences, which makes it more difficult for them to evaluate risk in situations where there is a real risk of death. After two California girls allegedly hanged themselves after watching “blackout challenge” videos on TikTok, the social media platform is being sued for wrongful death in the US.

“TikTok has invested billions of dollars to intentionally design and develop its product to encourage, enable and push content to teens and children that the defendant knows to be problematic and highly detrimental to its minor users’ mental health,” the New York Post’s report on the lawsuit reads.

Users of TikTok are urged to report anyone participating in the challenge by clicking the “report” icon.