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Utah sues TikTok for getting children ‘addicted’ to its algorithm

Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

Utah’s Division of Consumer Protection (UDCP) is suing TikTok over allegations that the app’s “addictive nature” harms children and that TikTok deceptively obscures its relationship with ByteDance, its parent company in China. The state’s lawsuit is the latest in a long-and-growing string of bans and legal action from US-based governments and organizations to rein in TikTok’s popularity, generally on espionage fears.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox accused the company of “misleading parents that its app is safe for children” in a press release announcing the lawsuit today. He said the app “illegally baits children into addictive and unhealthy use” with features that encourage young users to scroll endlessly in order to make more advertising…

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