Utah sues TikTok over allegations of fostering addiction in children and misrepresenting app safety. U.S. officials raise concerns about the platform’s ties to China.
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Utah Takes Legal Action Against TikTok
Utah’s Division of Consumer Protection has announced legal action against TikTok.
The state has accused the company that powers the globally popular social media app of engaging in dubious practices targeted at children.
They allege that TikTok is not just fostering addictive habits but is also misrepresenting its safety and autonomy from its parent company, ByteDance, based in China.
Growing Concerns Over TikTok’s Ties with China
This announcement comes on the heels of several actions U.S. regulatory bodies took against TikTok.
The central concern for many officials is the app’s alleged threat to national security, primarily because of its close association with China.
Claims of Designed Addiction and Misrepresentation
Central to Utah’s lawsuit is the claim that TikTok has intentionally implemented addictive features.
These features allegedly ensnare young users, compelling them to scroll through the platform incessantly.
As per Utah’s filing, the goal is to increase user engagement, enabling the company to serve more ads to its audience.
Furthermore, Utah contends that TikTok has been misleading, particularly towards young users and their guardians, regarding potential hazards associated with the platform.
Strong Words from Utah’s Attorney General
In a robust statement released Tuesday, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes expressed his frustrations:
“I am tired of TikTok lying to Utah parents. I am tired of our kids losing their innocence and even their lives addicted to the dark side of social media. TikTok will only change if put at legal risk — and ‘at risk’ is where they have left our youth in exchange for profit and greed. Immediate and pervasive threats require swift and bold responses. We have a compelling case against TikTok. Our kids are worth the fight.”
The lawsuit emphasizes the increasing concerns and scrutiny surrounding social media platforms, especially regarding their impact on young users.