An 11-year-old died while taking part in a social media challenge online, his mother has said.
Da’Vorius Christopher 'Chi-Chi' Gray of Lyman, South Carolina, was found dead in his home after playing games called ‘hangman’ and ‘pass out challenge'.
His mother, Latrice Hurst, blamed online influences for the death and called for stricter supervision of children on the web.
In a statement released through the family’s pastor, Mark Pangel, she said: "If I could rewind time I would go back and monitor heavily his use of social media, YouTube and the internet.
“He was on a sight [sic] called ‘kick’ and had been playing games called ‘hangman’ and ‘pass-out challenge’ where kids choke themselves to the point of passing out and it is apparently a widely popular game.
“He showed no signs of depression or destructive behaviour, but Da’Vorius was a prankster and loved to play tricks.
“He talked about how much he loved his family and people and never showed us any sign otherwise.
“I would just say I don’t believe young people should be on social media and it should be limited to adults or at the very least with extreme adult supervision where the parents can see everything that takes place on the sights [sic] should be a requirement.”
Paying tribute to her son, Ms Hurst said: “Chi Chi took up for others, loved people and loved life.”
“I hate this happened and I feel part of me died but I feel Chi Chi has been given a platform to help others in his passing to realize the dangers of ‘playing with fire.’”
Mr Pangel said: “Da’Vorius was “seriously one of the sweetest kids I've ever met. He was the one that would come up to you and hug you. He was always smiling.
The most controversial internet crazes
The most controversial internet crazes
1/7 Gun Selfies
Where it actually came from remains a mystery, but the 'Selfie' remains a popular feature on the internet - it was even named word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries in 2013. However, a number of gangs in America have taken it a step further, posting 'gun selfies' of themselves. Last year, two men were charged for 142 counts of possession of a firearm and were bailed by police after posting numerous photos. The craze has led to several calls for photos to be taken down, with parents fearing that children could try and create their own poses.
Originating in Australia in 2008, the trend of 'planking' swept Britain a year later. The craze, in which people form a straight figure with hands down by their sides, had thousands of participants uploading their efforts on to Facebook. While most were harmless enough, the more daring have been known to plank across railway tracks and between buildings, causing major health concerns. In 2011, a 20-year-old man died after 'planking' on a seven-story building in Australia.
Twerking, a mixture of twisting and jerking, has been around since the late 1990s, but its popularity dramatically increased after Miley Cyrus 'twerked' at the 2013 MTV VMA awards with Robin Thicke, prompting fans to upload their own versions on Youtube - we've even had twerking stormtroopers. It's since been accused of corrupting the minds of young people and, last year, 33 students were suspended after making a video of themselves 'twerking' using school equipment.
4/7 Happy Slap
It's been almost a decade since the Happy Slap craze broke out in the UK, but what started out in as a small joke between friends in Lewisham in 2004 eventually became a nationwide phenomenon. Happy Slapping involved a victim being filmed on a camera phone getting slapped. As the craze spread, incidents became more and more vicious and it was linked to a rise in bullying in school playgrounds. In 2008, a teenage girl was sentenced to two years' detention after filming the fatal beating of a man.
'Tombstoning' emerged in 2012 as a much more dangerous fad. It involved finding the highest rock to leap from, giving jumpers sufficient time to change their body position to resemble a tomb falling into the sea. It was invented initially as a way to keep cool during sizzling temperatures, but as the challenges became more daunting, some experienced horrific injuries as a result of jumping into shallow or rocky waters.
While not as dangerous as other internet fascinations, McDonald's staff are now finding themselves on the receiving end of another internet craze. 'McDiving' started last year and normally comes at the end of an alcohol-fuelled night out, where it is then customary for a 'McDiver' to go to the nearest McDonald's and launch themselves over the counter. McDonald's franchises have even started hiring bouncers at peak times of the day to deal with any mischief makers.
7/7 Gallon Smashing
Given that glossy floors are prominent in supermarkets, it would be deemed acceptable to see the occasional person slip over. But this is no accident. Gallon smashing started to appear on Youtube last year and has becoming increasingly popular in the US. It sees agile teenagers throw gallons of milk in the air as well as hurtling themselves on to the ground. However, with the mess, cost and inconvenience that is caused, the 'gallon smashing' craze has seen security stepped up in supermarkets.
“It was the most humbling experience in my life because little Nae, his 8-year-old sister is in [the hospital], and she's stoic and hurting and doesn't know how to react.
“I wanted to fix it and there's literally nothing I could do,” Mr Pangel told WYFF4 news.
The coroner’s office and police are reportedly investigating Davorius’ death.Reuse content