July 18, 2024

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New Hampshire sues TikTok, saying platform hurts kids’ mental health

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New Hampshire sues TikTok, claiming it hurts kids’ mental health


New Hampshire sues TikTok, claiming it hurts kids’ mental health

01:40

CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire is the latest state to sue TikTok, saying that the social media platform is intentionally designed to get kids addicted, which seriously harms their mental health.

How does TikTok hurt children?

In fact, the state’s complaint claims that as TikTok grew in popularity, so did instances of mental health issues among children.

“All the evidence shows that the longer kids spend on these platforms, the more risk there is to their mental health. We want to have more effective parental controls, because right now, parents don’t really have a good ability to limit their kids’ exposure to these platforms. They don’t have a good ability to turn the platforms on and off, to turn access to the platforms on and off,” said New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella.

New Hampshire’s complaint against TikTok

The complaint also alleges that TikTok lied to parents about the safety of the platform and knowingly promoted ineffective safety measures. The state also says TikTok collected personal data from users younger than 13 without parental consent.

“New Hampshire puts our kids first,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “This lawsuit, combined with our earlier Executive Order investigating the harms of social media on New Hampshire’s youth is another wakeup call for parents on the dangers that social media presents to our kids.” 

A TikTok spokesperson said that TikTok has industry-leading safeguards to support teens’ well-being – including a 60-minute limit for users under 16 – but didn’t comment specifics of the complaint coming out of New Hampshire.

US has sought to ban TikTok

More and more states have cracked down on TikTok over fears of mental health issues among children and concerns that the Chinese government could force the parent company, ByteDance, to hand over Americans’ personal information. TikTok and several TikTok users have sued the U.S. states over a law that would create a national ban on the app if its Chinese parent company Byte Dance won’t sell it, saying the law violates free speech.

New Hampshire isn’t looking to get rid of the app. Formella wants TikTok to make reforms (including time limits for younger users and better parental controls) and pay damages for the harm it has already caused to children. 

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