US State Sues TikTok

US State Sues TikTok

( – A new lawsuit from Utah is suing TikTok for their video hosting of child exploitation and trafficking, among other illegal actions.

The lawsuit claims that their live streaming feature allows its users to show videos in real time so that other users are able to interact with those posting the videos. Some responses include real-time comments and sending money as gifts to the participants in the videos.

Utah’s lawsuit claims that TikTok profits from a feature that exploits children emotionally and financially. Because TikTok only allows content creators who are 18 years of age or older, the videos often feature adults with children, allowing the adult users to solicit exploitative behavior from the children through gifts and approval.

TikTok’s virtual payment system allows the user to prey on the children in the video, encouraging them to perform illicit and intimate acts in exchange for the payments they offer.

Sean Reyes, the Attorney General of Utah, filed the lawsuit. It claims that TikTok does not have sufficient verification for the age limit they state is in place, nor do they enforce the age limit to ensure the safety of minors.

Michael Hughes, a spokesperson for TikTok, stated that content creators who post the videos must be 18 years old prior to going live. They lose access if they don’t meet the age requirement.

The lawsuit claims that TikTok, based on user complaints, has known since the end of 2023 that its live video sessions have involved the exploitation of children through its transactional function. The lawsuit argues that TikTok is aware of the alleged vulnerability of children, yet fails to implement any solutions to address the issue, citing its lucrative revenue stream, where they receive nearly 50 percent of each transaction.

Other manipulative practices include the promise to children to send money as gifts to the video users for the coveted likes, as well as recognition and goods from the hosts of the livestreams. According to the lawsuit, these practices prey on a child’s developing brain, which makes them less able to control impulsive behavior.

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