Utah has joined the ranks of US states taking authorized motion in opposition to TikTok, alleging that the corporate is attractive youngsters into addictive and doubtlessly dangerous social media habits. The lawsuit claims that TikTok is partaking youngsters in extended social media use, misrepresenting the app’s security, and falsely presenting itself as impartial from its Chinese language guardian firm, ByteDance.
Utah’s Republican Governor, Spencer Cox, expressed his dedication to carry social media corporations accountable in a information convention the place the lawsuit was introduced, and filed in a state courtroom in Salt Lake Metropolis.
Arkansas and Indiana have additionally filed comparable lawsuits, and the US Supreme Court docket is poised to deal with whether or not state efforts to manage social media platforms, together with Fb, X, and TikTok, infringe upon the Structure.
The lawsuit from Utah cites public well being issues, noting that analysis signifies youngsters who spend over three hours a day on social media are at double the danger of experiencing poor psychological well being, together with anxiousness and melancholy.
Utah Lawyer Common Sean Reyes described TikTok’s algorithm options as designed to captivate youngsters with a continuing stream of extremely tailor-made content material, likening it to a slot machine that retains them hooked.
The lawsuit seeks to compel TikTok to change its practices, impose fines and penalties to help academic initiatives and deal with the hurt precipitated to Utah youngsters.
In response, TikTok defended its security measures, together with a 60-minute time restrict for customers underneath 18 and parental controls for teenage accounts.
Utah had beforehand handed legal guidelines geared toward proscribing youngsters and youngsters from utilizing social media apps, set to take impact subsequent 12 months, which embody a digital curfew and necessities for parental consent and age verification.
Nonetheless, some youngster advocates are involved that these measures could compromise youngsters’s privateness, doubtlessly impacting LGBTQ youngsters whose mother and father will not be accepting of their identification.