LOCAL NEWS

Utah sues TikTok, alleges harms to teens

Oct 10, 2023, 10:59 AM | Updated: Jun 28, 2024, 1:52 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The state of Utah filed a lawsuit against social media giant TikTok, alleging harm to teenage users. Gov. Spencer Cox and Attorney General Sean Reyes announced the lawsuit Tuesday.

“We will be using our existing laws where appropriate to hold social media companies accountable for the harms caused to our children and youth,” Cox said. “Today we are doing just that. Earlier this morning the state of Utah filed a lawsuit against TikTok after a lengthy and ongoing investigation.”

Cox explained that Utah would continue to “lead out” and protect children from the harms of social media and that this was not a partisan issue.

“We will not stand by while these companies fail to take adequate meaningful action to protect our children,” Cox said. “We will hold social media companies accountable by any means necessary.”

Cox and Utah lawmakers have focused multiple efforts in the last year to fight social media companies including launching a media campaign about the harms and passing two bills restricting how social media companies can operate within the state.

Reyes said the new lawsuit is the result of an investigation launched over a year ago.

“Our complaint alleges TikTok has violated both the trust of Utahns and multiple provisions of Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act,” Reyes said. “We seek injunctive relief to force TikTok to change its destructive behavior and fines and penalties we hope to fund education, mitigation, and reparation of damage to Utah kids.”

The lawsuit alleges that TikTok’s algorithm intentionally creates addiction and “spoon feeds endless, highly-curated content to kids who struggle to disengage.”

Reyes said TikTok targets kids and lies to parents to create a false sense of security by claiming they take proactive steps to moderate content, require age verification and mitigate harm to kids.

“But the company allows disturbing content and dangerous challenges to reach children without making efforts to stop that,” Reyes said.

Finally, Reyes explained the company lies about its own structure.

“The company is siphoning large amounts of personal data from our kids every time they use the platform,” Reyes said.

The attorney general said TikTok has not complied with investigative subpoenas issued a long time ago. 

The lawsuit is not the first of its kind targeting TikTok, Indiana filed two lawsuits against the company earlier this year.

“Our efforts to demand accountability from TikTok did not start yesterday and will not end tomorrow,” Reyes said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

FILE — Police lights. (KSL TV)...

Carlysle Price

Girl died after golf cart crash, police plead with parents

A 13-year-old girl died from injuries after she fell out of a golf cart on July 3, police plead with parents to keep kids safe.

30 minutes ago

FILE: A Summit County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle. (KSL TV)...

Carlysle Price

Man assaulted wife and fled, located in Montana

A man police said assaulted his wife and fled Monday was located in Montana Tuesday morning.

1 hour ago

As we head into a big, busy day with an Olympic announcement and hopeful celebration, marathon, and...

Karah Brackin

With a spike in deadly crashes this summer, officials urging drivers to use caution

As we head into a big, busy day with an Olympic announcement and hopeful celebration, marathon, and a holiday on top of all that, Utah officials are urging everyone to pay attention behind the wheel.

2 hours ago

A small hydrothermal explosion damaged a boardwalk near the Biscuit Basin thermal area, July 23, 20...

Carlysle Price

Hydrothermal explosion closes basin at Yellowstone National Park

Biscuit Basin in Yellowstone National Park temporarily closed, after a "small hydrothermal explosion" Monday morning.

3 hours ago

Utah Fire Info reported Tuesday afternoon that a new 
wildfire has started up on Antelope Island. (...

Mark Jones

New wildfire breaks out on Antelope Island

Utah Fire Info reported Tuesday afternoon that a new fire has started up on Antelope Island.

3 hours ago

A party to celebrate the start of Olympic Games took place in Riverton Monday night. (KSL TV)...

Debbie Worthen

Riverton party kicks off excitement around Olympic Games and IOC announcement

A party to celebrate the start of Olympic Games took place in Riverton Monday night.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Utah sues TikTok, alleges harms to teens