A consortium of US states announced on Wednesday an investigation into TikTok’s possible harms to young users of the platform, which has boomed in popularity especially among children.
Officials across the United States have launched their own probes and lawsuits against Big Tech giants as the national government has failed to pass new regulations due in part to partisan gridlock.
The consortium of eight states will look into the harms TikTok can cause to its young users and what TikTok knew about those possible harms, said a statement from California attorney general Rob Bonta.
The investigation focuses, among other things, on TikTok’s techniques to boost young user engagement, including efforts to increase the frequency and duration of children’s use.
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“We don’t know what social media companies knew about these harms and when,” Bonta said in a statement.
“Our nationwide investigation will allow us to get much-needed answers and determine if TikTok is violating the law in promoting its platform to young Californians,” he added.
TikTok increases video time length
TikTok on Monday began letting users upload videos as long as 10 minutes, ramping up the young platform’s challenge to veteran titan YouTube.
TikTok, owned by ByteDance in China, launched with a one-minute limit on uploaded videos, but bumped the cap to three minutes last year.
“Today we are happy to start rolling out the ability to upload videos up to 10 minutes long,” TikTok said in response to an AFP inquiry.
Read more: TikTok: A curse in our society?
“We hope this will further stimulate the creativity of our creators around the world.”
TikTok more than tripling the length of videos comes as YouTube and Facebook-parent Meta strive to counter the rival with short-form content options and incentives to creators whose posts draw audiences.
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk