A man holding a phone walks past the TikTok, logo at the International Artificial Products Expo in Hangzhou, China on Oct. 18, 2019.China Stringer Network / Reuters file

The attoneys general of several states have launched an investigation of TikTok and its potential harmful effects on children’s health, it was announced yesterday (March 2nd). The video platform, which has some one billion monthly users, is particularly popular with teens and younger children, and some lawmakers and federal regulators have criticized TikTok over its practices and algorithm-driven promotion of content they say can endanger the physical and mental health of young users, such as promoting eating disorders and even self-harm and suicide. California Attorney General Rob Bonta said the probe wants to determine if TikTok is violating the law in promoting its platform to young people. TikTok notes that some features, like direct messaging, aren’t available for young users, and says it has tools like screen-time managament to help kids and their parents manage how long they’re on the platform and what they see.