In this photo illustration, the down load website page for the TikTok app is displayed on an Apple Apple iphone on August 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photograph Illustration by Drew Angerer/Getty Pictures)

Georgia Lawyer Basic Chris Carr is joining a nationwide investigation into social media application TikTok and its possible hazardous consequences on kids and younger older people.

The investigation was announced Wednesday by a selection of states led by California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee and Vermont.

U.S. lawmakers and federal regulators have criticized TikTok, citing methods and laptop-driven promotion of articles they say can endanger the bodily and psychological overall health of younger buyers. The system has an believed 1 billion monthly users and is specially popular with teenagers and youthful small children.

Previous month, Texas opened an investigation into TikTok’s alleged violations of children’s privacy and facilitation of human trafficking.

“We will often stand up to shield Georgia’s youngsters, and we will not tolerate all those who place their wellness and very well-currently being at possibility,” Carr stated in a statement. “Social media use and its hazardous outcomes on youthful people is a significant challenge that ought to be tackled with protection as the only priority. Although TikTok chooses to target our youngest residents with increased promoting ways, we will proceed operating with our fellow lawyers general to critique all readily available facts and retain our young children harmless.”

Officials say the investigation will analyze whether TikTok set the community at possibility by violating customer protection laws and will focus on examining how TikTok increase user engagement with the app. 

Federal government officials and child-basic safety advocates retain that TikTok’s personal computer algorithms pushing movie information to people can boost eating disorders and even self-hurt and suicide to young viewers.

Tiktok’s reaction to investigation

TikTok has reported it focuses on age-suitable ordeals, noting that some features, this kind of as direct messaging, are not out there to younger customers. The company states it has applications in put, this sort of as display screen-time administration, to assist younger folks and mother and father moderate how extensive kids spend on the app and what they see.

“We care deeply about building an working experience that will help to shield and guidance the very well-becoming of our neighborhood, and appreciate that the condition lawyers typical are focusing on the basic safety of more youthful buyers,” the organization claimed Wednesday. “We look ahead to delivering data on the quite a few basic safety and privacy protections we have for teenagers.”

Early past calendar year, immediately after federal regulators ordered TikTok to disclose how its techniques influence kids and youngsters, the system tightened its privateness procedures for consumers underneath 18.

As its level of popularity has swelled, TikTok has arrive under a barrage of criticism from state officers, federal regulators, shopper advocates and lawmakers of both events. Republicans have particularly homed in on the company’s ties to China. TikTok is owned by Beijing-based mostly ByteDance.

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