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Updated December 16th, 2023 at 16:16 IST

Judge says TikTok must turn meeting records over in US states probe

Attorney General

Thomson Reuters
TikTok
TikTok | Image:Unsplash
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A state judge on Friday ordered TikTok to comply with a request from the North Carolina Attorney General's Office for records in a multistate investigation into whether the app puts young people at risk.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said the attorneys general investigating since 2022 have discovered TikTok had an archive of tens of thousands of recorded internal Zoom meetings that the company initially failed to disclose for nearly a year and a half.

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The court order requires TikTok to turn over lists of all Zoom recordings that may help the attorneys general in their investigation, Stein said.

"TikTok does not get to choose which parts of the law it complies with," Stein said. "We’re going full steam ahead in our investigation to protect our kids.”

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A TikTok spokesperson said on Friday it would appeal the ruling. The company has said previously it "has industry-leading safeguards for young people, including an automatic 60-minute time limit for users under 18 and parental controls for teen accounts."

In October, Utah sued TikTok, accusing it of harming children by intentionally keeping young users spending unhealthy amounts of time on the short-video sharing platform. Indiana and Arkansas previously filed similar suits.

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TikTok, with more than 150 million US users, is very popular among young people. Pew Research Center said 67 per cent of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 use TikTok, and 16 per cent of all teens say they use the app almost constantly.

Utah's lawsuit said the videos leverage "highly powerful algorithms and manipulative design features, many of which mimic features of slot machines" and the result "of these manipulative tactics is that young consumers become hooked."

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Arkansas also sued both TikTok and Facebook-parent Meta Platforms in March "for pushing addictive platforms."

 

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Published December 16th, 2023 at 16:16 IST

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