Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes invites Utahns with concerns about social media harms to inspect the unredacted lawsuit against TikTok, which the Attorney General’s Office has filed on behalf of the State of Utah’s Division of Consumer Protection. The details of the complaint shine the light of transparency on the issues and concerns of the app for the public to see, and give parents the opportunity to understand the extent to which the State believes TikTok has targeted our children.
Utah’s original lawsuit was filed on October 10, 2023. At that time, the State was not allowed to detail its allegations about TikTok’s strategies to addict kids with carefully crafted designs that mimic a slot machine, while enjoying a market penetration of under age 18 users of 95%. TikTok stipulated to the public release of the unredacted version today.
“[This] filing represents a significant win for the State of Utah in its case against TikTok,” Attorney General Reyes said. “The public will have a full and unobstructed view of the most serious allegations in our complaint. Now, Utahns can better understand why we acted so quickly and decisively to try and stop the harms our youth face on social media. We feel strongly that TikTok has prioritized profit and greed far above the well-being and safety of our kids. Our commitment is to continue the State’s investigation and multi-faceted litigation to put an end to these harms and provide some relief to Utah children.”
The unredacted lawsuit provides details on the State’s allegations that:
- TikTok’s core mission has been to addict our children.
- Even as TikTok was addicting our kids, the company also knew that its content moderation systems were woefully inadequate.
- TikTok has allowed the proliferation of child sexual abuse material on its platform.
- TikTok has actively worked to cultivate relationships among policymakers – including the National Parent Teacher Association – to lobby its interests.
The State alleges that TikTok singularly focuses on hooking child users while casually disregarding its responsibility to protect them. The complaint alleged TikTok has consistently failed to appropriately moderate inappropriate content, particularly when it comes to drug use, sexual abuse, self-harm and suicidal ideation, and eating disorders.