A coalition of state attorneys general launched an investigation into TikTok on Wednesday to determine whether it's promoting the platform to minors and young adults in a way that “causes or exacerbates” mental and physical health issues.
The coalition will investigate whether the platform violated state consumer protection laws, looking into the harmful effects of TikTok and whether the company knew about those effects. It will focus specifically on how long users spend on the app and how TikTok encourages engagement. Attorneys general from California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee and Vermont are leading the investigation, backed by a "broad group of attorneys general" across the U.S., according to a statement from the office of the state attorney general for Massachusetts.
“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,” Maura Healey, state attorney general for Massachusetts, said in a statement. “State attorneys general have an imperative to protect young people and seek more information about how companies like TikTok are influencing their daily lives."
The investigation is an extension of an effort the state AGs launched in November that focused into Meta-owned Instagram.