SC AG’s office joins investigation into TikTok

Attorney General Alan Wilson joins an investigation into TikTok
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 4:27 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced on Tuesday that he plans to join a nationwide investigation into TikTok.

According to a release from Wilson’s office, multiple Attorneys General are examining whether the video-sharing social media company violated state consumer protection laws that put the public at risk.

Wilson released a statement on his concerns on the negative impact of social media on South Carolina’s youth.

“Our children are precious and vulnerable and we need to ensure that they’re fully protected.”

According to Wilson’s office, the investigation will look into possible harms that could affect younger TikTok users and whether or not the company had knowledge of those harms. It will also focus on the techniques used by TikTok to boost engagement of young users, including the increasing duration of time spent on the app and frequency of engagement.

Wilson says that the Attorneys General leading the investigation are from California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont. They are being joined by a group of Attorneys General from across the U.S.

“They’re seeing the perfect moment of the perfect day. Snapchat’s of people instead of reality,” said Outpatient Therapist at Carolina Family Services Ashlee Bredael.

Bredael says for many of the kids that she sees, social media may not be the reason they’re coming to therapy but it makes an impact.

“It definitely plays a role in the way that maybe they view themselves or their self-esteem. Almost like this addiction to their phones,” she said.

Katrina Yazid doesn’t like how much her teenage grandkids are on social media, including TikTok.

“It’s adults on there doing stuff that they ain’t got no business watching, so no it’s not a good thing,” she said.

Yazid is most concerned about privacy.

“They need to do something about the privacy of it and then kids getting on there and saying that they’re 18 and they’re not so there needs to be a way to distinguish how old this kid really is,” she said.

So what can parents do to help?

Bredael suggests setting boundaries and limiting the amount of time they use social media.

“I think it’s hard to really get them to realize that their mental health will be better once they give it up a little bit,” she explained.