TikTok: the United States launches an investigation into the risks to mental health of children

TikTok will be the subject of an investigation by several American states, anxious to determine whether or not the social network is dangerous for the mental health of the youngest. This investigation follows the revelations of Frances Haugen, the whistleblower who revealed the practices of Meta applications aimed at teenagers.

In October 2020, Frances Haugen unveils several confidential documents from Facebook, which later became Meta. Inside, appalling reports on the practices used by the group, particularly with regard to adolescents. The whistleblower is formal: the company is fully aware of the harmful effects of its platforms on young peoplebut does not intend to act to reverse the trend.

Faced with the media outcry, Instagram will finally implement “Take a break”, a feature that encourages the youngest users to move away from their screen. But the damage is done. Since then, distrust of social networks, which is already increasing year after year, has today reached its climax. Today, several US states announced they are launching an investigation against TikTok, aimed at assessing the real risks to mental health of the youngest.

Related: TikTok is the worst social network for falling asleep, you lose an hour of sleep

Is TikTok dangerous for the mental health of children?

I have to say that the Chinese app has been pinned many times for its incitement to participate in dangerous challenges, as well as for hosting content that discriminates against minorities. “We know this has devastating effects on the mental health and well-being of children. But we don’t know what the companies themselves knew and since when.”explains Rob Bonta, the attorney general of California.

“While children and adolescents are already struggling with issues of anxiety, social pressure and depression, we cannot allow social media to further harm their physical health and mental well-being”, adds Maura Healey, Attorney General of Massachusetts. Several studies are already pointing to the involvement of TikTok in the appearance of nervous tics, or even Tourette’s syndrome in some teenage girls.

Source: New York Times

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