While the coronavirus pandemic has increased the number of users and content tenfold, a scientific report reports an upsurge in nervous tics among young people using this application. Researchers from the University of Florida have demonstrated the aggravation of these symptoms during the health crisis and the various confinements, as reported by 20 Minutes, Wednesday March 2.
A study conducted on twenty teenagers, aged 11 to 21, proves that the frequency of their tics doubled with TikTok. The people surveyed estimated, on a severity scale of 0 to 6, the severity of their tics, responding unanimously with the numbers 4 or 5. In October 2021, a previous study had accused the social network of promoting the development of the syndrome of Gilles de la tourette.
A coalition of eight US states, including California and Florida, announced on Wednesday the launch of an investigation into the very popular application TikTok, which they accuse of causing harm to children by encouraging them to spend more and more on it. of time. “We know this has devastating effects on the mental health and well-being of children. But we don’t know what the companies themselves knew and since when,” California attorney general Rob Bonta said in a statement.
The magistrates want to examine the “techniques used by TikTok to encourage young people” to spend more time there, to react to the contents and to interact with the creators, they indicated in a press release also published by Vermont, Tennessee and Nebraska. , among others. This investigation follows that carried out by many attorneys general against Meta, the parent company of Facebook, which they accuse of promoting Instagram to the youngest.
“Meta has failed to protect young people on its platforms and has instead chosen to ignore, and in some cases even reinforce, practices that pose a real threat to physical and mental health, thereby exploiting children. to make a profit,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said at the time. Prosecutors relied in particular on the revelations in the fall of whistleblower Frances Haugen. According to documents collected by her when she was still working at the company, the social media giant has long been aware, through its own research, of the psychological damage caused by Instagram in children and adolescents.