Another social platform is under investigation for the possible methods that it may be using to promote itself among young people (via The Verge). A group of state attorneys general from California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont launched a nationwide investigation against TikTok. Their investigation aims to find out if the promotional methods used by the social platform are hurting young people physically and mentally. In its investigation against TikTok, the group will examine if the social platform has been violating state consumer protection laws and if its actions have put its users at risk. It will also aim to determine whether TikTok was aware of any users who were in danger.
Because the investigation against TikTok is primarily focused on the methods TikTok employs to retain and increase young user engagement, it will focus on determining what techniques TikTok has employed to increase the amount of time spent on the platform and the frequency of engagement among young people.
Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement, “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 wellbeing. State attorneys general have an imperative to protect young people and seek more information about how companies like TikTok are influencing their daily lives.“
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