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TikTok Lawsuit

TikTok Lawsuit

TikTok is a social media app that may increase the risk of suicide, depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and other serious mental health issues, especially for teenagers.

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting TikTok induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you believe the social media app TikTok caused your loved one’s suicide, eating disorder or mental health issue, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Social Media Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

UPDATE: Mom Files TikTok Lawsuit After Daughter Dies from “Blackout Challenge”

In May 2022, the mother of a 10-year-old girl filed a wrongful death lawsuit against TikTok and ByteDance after her daughter died doing the “blackout challenge.” The lawsuit claims that TikTok’s algorithm showed the girl dangerous videos encouraging users to try to choke themselves to lose consciousness.

WSJ: How TikTok Figures You Out

Teen Girls Are Having Tics After Watching TikTok Videos

Psychologists are seeing a growing number of teenage girls who are exhibiting unusual symptoms after watching an excessive amount of TikTok videos.

The videos feature “mental health influencers” who film themselves having tics, jerking movements, verbal outbursts rapid personality changes, or other symptoms of serious mental health disorders.

Viewers are self-diagnosing themselves with mental disorders, but some viewers also seem to be manifesting the symptoms.

These videos are incredibly popular on TikTok. For example, #tourettes videos were viewed more than 5 billion times on TikTok. The hashtag #BPD (borderline personality disorder) had 3.7 billion views, #bipolar had 2 billion views, and #DID (dissociative identity disorder) another 1.5 billion views, according to the New York Post.

State AGs Investigate Mental Health Risks of TikTok

In March 2022, eight state AGs launched a nationwide investigation into whether TikTok “causes or exacerbates physical and mental health harms” for teenagers, children and young adults. Click here to read more.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a video-sharing social media app that is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance Ltd. Users can create, watch, and share short videos lasting from 15 seconds to 3 minutes.

TikTok Became Most Popular Social Media App for Teens in 2021

TikTok is a notoriously addictive app that has grown rapidly since its launch in 2018. Just three years later, TikTok had about 1 billion active monthly users worldwide. In 2021, TikTok overtook Instagram as the most popular social media app among teens. TikTok also overtook Facebook and Google to become the most-visited site on the internet.

How Does TikTok Work?

Like most social media apps, TikTok uses an algorithm and other information to pick videos to show to a user based on what it thinks the user will enjoy the most. For example, if a user watches a lot of videos showing cute dogs, it will show more videos of cute dogs.

What is the Problem?

Unlike other types of social media, TikTok’s algorithm regularly picks videos from content-creators who do not have very many followers or popular videos.

In most cases, this is a good thing — it allows virtual nobodies to go viral with videos that strike a chord with a big audience, suddenly reaching millions of people around the world.

But TikTok’s “recommendation engine” can also have a dark side, especially for teenage girls who use sexualized videos to get attention, or young people who fall into a pit of depression and eating disorders, or social media addiction. As these mental health issues spiral out of control, TikTok profits by showing more advertisements to these users.

Mental Health Risks of Using TikTok

  • Suicide
  • Suicidal ideation / attempts
  • Self-harm
  • Depression
  • Emotional disorders (anxiety, low self-esteem, etc.)
  • Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, etc.)
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Sexual abuse or exploitation
  • Other mental health issues
  • And more

Teen Girls’ Sexy Videos on TikTok Take Mental Health Toll

The Wall Street Journal investigated how sexy videos from teenage girls on TikTok can take a mental health toll.

Jula, a high-schooler near Sacramento, California, said:

“I wanted to get famous on TikTok, and I learned that if you post stuff showing your body, people will start liking it.”

Soon after she downloaded TikTok in 2019, a video of Jula singing while wearing a tight-fitting tank top was chosen by TikTok’s algorithm for viewers’ “For You” pages. More than a million people viewed the video and nearly 500,000 people liked it.

Her video’s comments were inundated with boys and men saying how hot she looked. She quickly had more than 200,000 followers — and she started making her videos more sexually explicit, including lip-syncing lyrics about sex and wearing more revealing clothes.

Who Is Most At Risk?

Therapists warn that social media poses the biggest risk for teenagers who do not have a close group of friends (especially those who have been isolated due to the pandemic) and teenagers who have pre-existing mental health issues. This is especially true for teenage girls who have struggled with eating disorders and body image issues.

Do I have a TikTok Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting TikTok induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you believe the social media app TikTok caused your loved one’s suicide, eating disorder or mental health issue, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Social Media Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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