Michigan joins national investigation into effects of TikTok on kids

Similar investigation underway into Facebook

The TikTok app logo appears in Tokyo on Sept. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File) (Kiichiro Sato, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

LANSING, Mich. – The state of Michigan has joined a nationwide investigation into whether or not TikTok is harmful to younger residents.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Thursday that they are examining whether the company violated state consumer protection laws that put the public at risk. The investigation into TikTok providing and promoting its social media platform to children and young adults even though social media use is associated with physical and mental health harms to young people.

“Recent reports on social media’s impact on the mental and physical health of young people raise serious questions among attorneys general across the nation. Ultimately, we are concerned about protecting our youth,” Nessel said. “I am proud to join my colleagues in this investigation. Given this is an ongoing investigation, I will not be discussing any details beyond this announcement.”

The AG’s office said 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 into both Meta and TikTok are Attorneys General from California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont, who are joined by a broad group of Attorneys General nationwide.

More: States launch probe into TikTok’s effect on kids’ health

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.