business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"A coalition of state attorneys general is launching an investigation into TikTok, seeking information about whether and how the video-sharing platform contributes to online harms to children.

"The move is an extension of an investigation unveiled by the same group of eight state attorneys general into Meta Platforms Inc.’s Instagram that focuses on similar concerns. The expansion adds fast-growing TikTok - owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd. - to the list of targets under scrutiny."

According to the story, "Leading the investigation is a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee and Vermont … they are being joined by a broader group of attorneys general from across the country, according to the coalition."

The Journal writes that "the investigation will look into the harms such usage causes to young users and what TikTok knew about those harms. The investigation focuses, among other things, on the techniques utilized by TikTok to boost young user engagement, including increasing the duration of time spent on the platform and frequency of engagement with the platform.”

The story comes one day after President Biden, in his State of the Union address, said that "we must hold social media platforms accountable for the national experiment they’re conducting on our children for profit … it’s time to strengthen privacy protections, ban targeted advertising to children, and demand tech companies stop collecting personal data on our children."