US authorities: TikTok’s algorithm is “addicting” children

US consumer advocacy group UDCP alleges that TikTok is designed to addict users to its endless stream of short videos.

The US Consumer Advocacy Unit (UDCP) has filed a complaint against TikTok, claiming that the addictive nature of the app harms children and conceals its relationship with ByteDance, its parent company in China. This state complaint is the latest in a series of long-standing bans and legal actions by governments and organizations based in the United States against TikTok, aimed at curbing its popularity and overall concerns about surveillance.  I suggest you see the article on The What Is TikTok 18 Plus ?

Spencer Cox, the Governor of Utah, accused TikTok of deceiving parents about the “safety of its app for children” in a press statement. He stated that the social media platform incentivizes users with various features to generate income through the display of advertisements among the endless stream of short videos. According to Cox’s claims, this social platform unlawfully entices children into using an addictive and unhealthy service.

The complaint filed by the state of Utah alleges that TikTok violates the Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act (UCSPA) by addicting children to the app and profiting from it. The complaint raises issues such as TikTok’s claims regarding safety, fairness of policies, and its relationship with ByteDance.

TikTok algorithm

TikTok has faced various challenges throughout the United States. Last year, Indiana filed a similar complaint against the social network, echoing the allegations made by Utah. A school in Maryland also filed a lawsuit against TikTok and other tech giants, citing their involvement in the mental health crisis among students. Montana passed a ban on TikTok in May, and now the app has filed a complaint to lift the ban.

Utah, through the passage of a new law, requires parents to grant consent before their children can use social media. The UDCP complaint seeks preliminary or permanent injunction against TikTok for violating the UCSPA and requests the court to order TikTok to pay legal fees, damages exceeding $300,000, and other remedies.

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