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Alexa Asks 10-year-old to Do Deadly 'Penny Challenge', Triggers Tweet War on 'Plugs'

By: Buzz Staff

News18.com

Last Updated: December 29, 2021, 17:42 IST

Amazon has responded saying that it had updated Alexa and rectified the error. Credits: Representative image

Amazon has responded saying that it had updated Alexa and rectified the error. Credits: Representative image

Alexa asked a 10-year-old to try out the dangerous TikTok challenge which involves a penny and an electrical plug and netizens are outraged.

Amazon’s hands free speaker Echo powered by the virtual assistant Alexa has come under fire for suggesting a fatal challenge to a 10-year-old. A US mother, Kristin Livdahl, claimed on Twitter that Echo recommended a deadly TikTok trend to her daughter who asked the device for a ‘challenge’. “OMFG My 10 year old just asked Alexa on our Echo for a challenge and this is what she said,” wrote Kristin on her tweet, attaching a screenshot of Alexa’s suggestion. “According to ourcommunitynow.com: The challenge is simple: plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs." The now viral tweet has over 15k likes. Ironically, the suggestion was taken by Alexa from a page that warned parents against children trying out the viral ‘penny challenge’.

Livdahl added that the mother and daughter were engaged in physical challenges like “laying down and rolling over holding a shoe on your foot, from a [physical education] teacher on YouTube earlier.” Due to bad weather, her daughter wanted one more activity. She said that her timely intervention helped avert a disaster. “I was right there and yelled, no, Alexa, no! like it was a dog. My daughter says she is too smart to do something like that anyway."

Enraged netizens debated over the cons of technology and children’s safety around electronic devices.

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It even started a mini tweet war between the plugs used in different countries.

Others attacked Amazon for the apparent lack of safety controls.

Few recounted their personal experiences with Alexa, which didn’t end well.

The lethal challenge started becoming popular about a year ago. Since metals conduct electricity, carrying out this challenge will lead to electrocution, fires and other serious injuries. A BBC report stated that Amazon responded by saying it had updated Alexa and rectified the error in order to avoid such mishaps in future.

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first published:December 29, 2021, 15:18 IST
last updated:December 29, 2021, 17:42 IST