Skip to main content

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is joining attorney generals from across the country in investigating the impact of TikTok on children and young adults.

According to a Wednesday announcement from his office, Ellison will join the investigation into TikTok’s effect on mental health and the techniques the video app uses to increase engagement and time spent on it.

“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,” Ellison said in a statement.

“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.”

Business of Apps estimates that TikTok has around one billion users globally, with those aged under 18 accounting for around 28% of them, with those aged 19-29 around 35%. But the full figures are not known, and the number of youth users may be even higher, with the New York Times reporting in November that under 14s may account for as much as a third of users.

There have been reports about the potentially dangerous affect of apps like TikTok on children, with a Raw Story investigation in October finding that users can find themselves exposed to videos discussing suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The investigation is led by attorney generals from California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee and Vermont.

Ellison has previously been involved in a similar investigation. In November, he joined other attorney generals in investigating Meta Platforms – the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp – and the ways it promoted its products to children.

He was also part of a push by 44 attorney generals calling on Instagram to abandon plans for a platform geared toward children under 13 in May. 

Next Up

Stillwater Prison

Investigation after inmate found dead in cell at Stillwater prison

Drug paraphernalia was found by officers inside the cell.

2 (3)

Focus is on family fitness at this year’s Twin Cities Marathon

Don’t miss out on the running, racing and all the fun things to do for the whole family

Screen Shot 2022-08-18 at 2.29.47 PM

Family's tributes to mother killed by partner in St. Paul murder-suicide

The 30-year-old was killed by her partner, who then killed himself.

FatalEaganCrashSceneAug18

Eagan man killed after crashing into traffic signal

The 30-year-old crashed into a traffic light early Wednesday morning.

Melvin Carter

What's in Mayor Melvin Carter's budget proposal?

Here's what the St. Paul mayor is putting his focus on for the upcoming year.

WCCO building

Digital, streaming employees at WCCO-TV vote to unionize

The 15 employees will join on-air talent and producers as members of the SAG-AFTRA union.

unnamed-3

Police arrest man suspected of sexual assault, weapons threat in Eagan

The investigation prompted a SWAT response in an Eagan neighborhood on Tuesday.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, August 16

The latest reporting period averaged just under 1,300 new cases per day.

USATSI_12923669

Jason and Carly Zucker sell Edina home for $4.18M

The property was bought in 2020, months after Jason Zucker was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Related

Keith Ellison

Keith Ellison joins fellow AGs in probe into Instagram, Meta Platforms

The investigation will focus on how Meta Platforms, formerly Facebook, promoted its products to young people.

Keith Ellison

Keith Ellison, MN farmers push for probe into beef industry price fixing

Ellison joined AGs from 10 other states in calling for the Department of Justice to investigate.

Keith Ellison

AG Ellison asks court to oversee Feeding Our Future's disbandment

The Minnesota Attorney General's Office and federal officials are investigating the nonprofit.

Keith Ellison

Attorney General Keith Ellison tests positive for COVID-19

He tested positive when he was set to fly home to Minnesota after visiting family.

Keith Ellison

Minnesota gets cut of Ford settlement over misleading ads

The $19.2 million settlement centers on Ford's C-Max hybrid and Super Duty pickup truck.

Keith Ellison

AG Ellison seeks removal of Otto Bremer Trust trustees

The attorney general filed petitions in court this week to have the three trustees removed immediately.