AG Shapiro Opens Investigation Into TikTok’s Impact on Young People

March 3, 2022 | Topic: Consumers

Takes Action With Coalition of Attorneys General Concerned for Safety and Well-Being of Children

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro launched an investigation into TikTok for providing and promoting its social media platform to children and young adults while use is associated with physical and mental health harms. He’s joined by a coalition of Attorneys General nationwide who are examining whether the company violated state consumer protection laws.

“My job is to protect all Pennsylvanians, especially children, from online threats,” said AG Shapiro. “Parents and children deserve to know the risks associated with these platforms. And if TikTok is found to have prioritized business growth over the physical and emotional well being of Pennsylvania’s children, they will be held responsible for that.”

The investigation will look into the harm TikTok usage causes to young users and what TikTok knew about those harms. The investigation focuses, among other things, on the techniques utilized by TikTok to boost young user engagement, including increasing the duration of time spent on the platform and frequency of engagement with the platform.

In May 2021, AG Shapiro took action with a bipartisan coalition of Attorneys General in urging Facebook to abandon its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under 13. In November 2021, AG Shapiro launched an investigation into the impact of Instagram on Pennsylvania youth. He was joined in this effort by Attorneys General nationwide.

Leading the investigation is a bipartisan coalition of Attorneys General from California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont.

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