A lawsuit filed in Utah is taking aim at popular social media platform TikTok, claiming that it intentionally lures children into addictive and potentially harmful behavior. The suit, which was filed by the state of Utah, alleges that TikTok’s design and algorithms exploit the vulnerabilities of young users, enticing them to spend excessive time on the platform and engage in risky behaviors.
The lawsuit asserts that TikTok employs manipulative techniques, such as its addictive scrolling feature and the use of autoplay videos, to keep users, particularly children and teenagers, hooked for extended periods. It argues that these practices may lead to negative consequences, including diminished physical and mental health, as well as exposure to harmful content.
Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes commented on the lawsuit, stating, “TikTok has knowingly and recklessly put our children at risk. We believe that TikTok’s practices are not only irresponsible but also potentially illegal. This lawsuit is intended to hold the platform accountable for its actions.”
The lawsuit also highlights concerns related to the privacy of underage users. It alleges that TikTok collects vast amounts of personal information, including geolocation data, and uses it to target ads and content. The suit claims that this practice violates children’s privacy rights and puts them at risk of exploitation.
TikTok, which Chinese company ByteDance owns, has faced regulatory scrutiny and legal challenges in several countries due to similar concerns. The outcome of the Utah lawsuit could have significant implications for the platform and set a precedent for addressing the responsibilities of social media companies in protecting the well-being of young users.