Collective of US states investigate TikTok’s impact on children

A consortium of US states announced on Wednesday an investigation into TikTok’s possible harms to young users of the platform, which has boomed in popularity especially among children.

Officials across the United States have launched their own probes and lawsuits against Big Tech giants as the national government has failed to pass new regulations due in part to partisan gridlock.

The consortium of eight states will look into the harms TikTok can cause to its young users and what TikTok knew about those possible harms, said a statement from California attorney general Rob Bonta.

US states probe TikTok impact on children Photo: AFP / Tolga Akmen

The investigation focuses, among other things, on TikTok’s techniques to boost young user engagement, including efforts to increase the frequency and duration of children’s use.

“We don’t know what social media companies knew about these harms and when,” Bonta said in a statement.

“Our nationwide investigation will allow us to get much-needed answers and determine if TikTok is violating the law in promoting its platform to young Californians,” he added.

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