Utah sues TikTok, claiming damage to youth mental health

Utah has filed a lawsuit against TikTok for encouraging children to use social media in a way that could be detrimental to their mental wellbeing.

The Associated Press reported that the Beehive State has taken aim at the social network company for allegedly luring children into using the app over an extended period of time, lying about the safety of the app and not being honest with its Chinese parent company ByteDance about the company’s independence. The AP reported that it joins Arkansas, Indiana and other states in filing similar lawsuits against TikTok.

We will not sit back and watch as these companies fail in their duty to protect children. “We will hold social media companies responsible by any means possible,” said Gov. Spencer Cox, R-Utah, spoke at a press conference about the lawsuit.

Cox banned TikTok from all government departments in December last year due to concerns about the app’s security and its connections with the Chinese state.

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Cox stated in a press release at the time that “China’s accessing data collected by TikTok poses a serious threat to our cybersecurity.” “As a consequence, we deleted our TikTok accounts and ordered that the same be done on all state owned devices.” Utahns must be protected and the security systems of the state must be trusted by the citizens.

Texas, South Dakota, and Maryland are also states that have restricted the use social media apps within state government.

A TikTok representative said in an email to The Hill that the app “provides industry-leading protections for youth” such as “a 60-minute automatic time limit for those under 18 years old and parental controls on teen accounts.”

The statement stated that “We will work to ensure the safety of our community by tackling challenges across all industries.”