US States Investigate TikToks' Effects On Children, teens
Massachusetts, California and six more states in the United States have launched a probe against TikTok to know whether it is causing mental or physical health harm to the younger people and whether the company are aware of such harms.
The Attorney-general said an investigation is focusing on understanding the techniques and methods utilized by the video-sharing app to boost engagement of the young people like frequency of engagement and increase in the time spent.
China-based ByteDance owns TikTok. It states that the company is focused on limiting the features with respect to age and looks into the safety of the younger people.
Earlier this year, TikTok said is working on restricting content based on age to prevent making available adult content to the teens.
Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook, is simultaneously under a similar probe by the US states related to its product Instagram. The investigation is mainly focused to know the potential impact of its streaming videos on the mental health of young users.
Office of the Tennessee attorney general reveals the investigation on Meta is led by attorneys general from Tennessee, Vermont, New Jersey, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Florida and California.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden said that social media should be held accountable for their experiments of profit on the children.
TikTok is named Douyin in China and owned by ByteDance Ltd. The video-focused social platform was initially released in September 2016 for iOS and Android devices. It is made available in forty different languages of the world.
Both Douyin and TikTok have a similar user interface but the content of one is not accessible through the other platform. Both differ in features. The platforms gained popularity immediately after launching and by October 2020 the TikTok crossed the milestone of 2 billion downloads across the world.
TikTok was ranked third by Morning Consult in the list of the fastest-growing brand in 2020.