Massachusetts says states probing TikTok’s effects on young people

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FILE PHOTO: TikTok app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration
FILE PHOTO: TikTok app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

March 2, 2022

(Reuters) – Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said on Wednesday several states have launched a bipartisan, nationwide probe of TikTok, focusing on whether the popular video-sharing app causes physical or mental health harm to young people.

The probe will also look at what the company knew about its role in perpetuating those harms.

“The investigation focuses, among other things, on the methods and 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,” Healey’s office said in a statement.

TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The investigation is being led by a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont and are joined by others, according to a statement from the Tennessee attorney general’s office.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Leslie Adler; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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