After Instagram, group of state attorneys general is investigating TikTok’s effects on kids and teens

By | March 3, 2022

TikTok is currently under investigation by a bipartisan group of state attorneys general to understand the negative effects the short-form video platform might have on the health of kids and teens. In addition, the AGs are trying to find whether the app violated state consumer protection laws.

This group of state attorneys general also investigated Instagram for the same issue. After the Instagram for kids controversy, the head of the company Adam Mosseri had to testify before Congress on how the app affects kids; then, by the end of 2021, Instagram announced its first parental controls following the controversy.

Now, according to CNBC, this group investigates whether TikTok’s “design, operations, or promotion to young users negatively affects their physical or mental health.”

“As children and teens already grapple with issues of anxiety, social pressure, and depression, we cannot allow social media to further harm their physical health and mental well-being,” Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, one of the leaders of the coalition, said in a statement.

The press release shows AGs will look into “potential harms to young people using the app and what TikTok knew about those harms.”

Alongside Healey, attorneys general from California, Florida, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont are also part of this probe.

A TikTok spokesperson provided a statement about this investigation:

We care deeply about building an experience that helps to protect and support the well-being of our community, and appreciate that the state attorneys general are focusing on the safety of younger users. We look forward to providing information on the many safety and privacy protections we have for teens.

9to5Mac will make sure to provide a follow-up of this story once the group of state attorneys general comes to a conclusion.


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