DES MOINES, Iowa – Attorney General Tom Miller 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.
Miller has long expressed concern about the negative impacts of social media platforms on Iowa’s youngest residents.
“TikTok is just the latest social media platform to draw in children, potentially creating a negative effect on their physical, emotional, and mental well-being,” Miller said. “As with other social media platforms, like Instagram, we must learn more about how TikTok engages with children.”
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 used 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.