The crackdown on TikTok by US states continues. This time Utah is filing a lawsuit against one of the apps most used by young people, under which TikTok is addicting children and hides its relationship with ByteDance, its China-based parent company. The developer often grew afraid of sharing data and information with the Beijing government. The state of Utah wants to completely ban the use of the app in the country. For its part, TikTok has always denied any connection to the Chinese government in the lawsuits it has already faced in Arkansas and Indiana. Instead, the state of Montana chose to ban the app entirely, a move that the company and its creators objected to. Utah Governor Spencer Cox accused the company of “deceiving parents that its app is safe for children.”
A recent report from the US Surgeon General was also brought up, pointing to the long-term harms caused by young people’s use of social media. Cox also highlighted how the app “illegally incites children to harmful use” through features that encourage endless page scrolling to earn more money from advertising. The lawsuit alleges that TikTok is also violating the Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act by misrepresenting things like safety and fairness and claiming that its US headquarters is controlled by ByteDance in China. The lawsuit now calls for a jury trial, with the accusation seeking to “initially or permanently ban TikTok.”
Beyond TikTok, Utah passed a law this year requiring parents to give consent before their children can use social media, in a move that is part of a broader censorship trend in the United States.
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