Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt joined a nationwide investigation into TikTok for providing and promoting its social media platform to children and young adults while use is associated with physical and mental health harms. Attorneys General nationwide are examining whether the company violated state consumer protection laws that put the public at risk.
Attorney General Schmitt has repeatedly expressed concern about the negative impacts of social media platforms on Missouri’s youngest residents.
“Today, my Office joined a nationwide investigation into the social media platform TikTok. In the course of our investigation, we will look into the operating practices employed by TikTok, particularly how the platform boosts young user engagement,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Protecting our most vulnerable and impressionable population – our children – is of paramount concern for me as Attorney General. My Office has been a leader in ensuring that social media platforms are acting appropriately, and we will continue our efforts to that end.”
The investigation will look into the harms such usage causes to young users and what TikTok knew about those harms. The investigation focuses, among other things, on the 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.
In May 2021, a bipartisan coalition of 44 Attorneys General urged Facebook to abandon its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under 13. In November 2021, Attorneys General from across the country announced their investigation into Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook, for providing and promoting its social media platform Instagram to kids.
Leading the investigation is a bipartisan coalition of Attorneys General from California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont. They are joined by a broad group of Attorneys General from across the country.