Attorney General Ellison joins nationwide investigation into TikTok’s impact on young people

Bipartisan coalition of AGs concerned for safety and well-being of children

March 2, 2022 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced today that he has joined a nationwide investigation into TikTok for providing and promoting its social-media platform to children and young adults while use is associated with physical and mental-health harms. He is part of a nationwide coalition of attorneys general who are examining whether the company violated state consumer protection laws that put the public at risk. 

“My job is to help Minnesotans of all ages live with dignity, safety, and respect. This is why I’ve joined a bipartisan, nationwide investigation into TikTok about its impact on younger users,” Attorney General Ellison said. “While I cannot provide detail about an active investigation, we will look into the harms that using TikTok may cause young users, and what TikTok knew about those harms.”  

The investigation is focused, among other things, on the techniques TikTok utilized to boost engagement among young users, including increasing the duration of time spent on the platform and frequency of engagement with the platform.  

AG Ellison has previously expressed concern about the negative impacts of social media platforms on the youngest Minnesotans. In May 2021, Attorney General Ellison joined a bipartisan coalition of 44 attorneys general in urging Facebook to abandon its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under 13. In November 2021, Attorney General Ellison joined attorneys general from across the country in announcing an investigation into Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook, for providing and promoting Instagram to children. 

Leading the TikTok investigation is a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont. They are joined by a broad group of attorneys general from across the country, including Attorney General Ellison.