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Sen. Blumenthal: TikTok Needs Hill Grilling on 'Devious Licks'

Sen. Richard Blumenthal
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) (Image credit: U.S. Senate)

Driven in part by the "Devious Licks" TikTok videos, Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he plans to hold a congressional hearing in the coming weeks on the impact of social media on children and teens and said he expects TikTok, which has been invited, to show up.

Blumenthal (D-Conn.) also wrote TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew to call on the social media site to do more to nip the viral videos in the bud. He said its actions to remove them were “too little, too late’ to mitigate the damage to schools across the country, where kids have filmed themselves “clogging toilets, defacing bathrooms, and stealing and destroying school property such as fire alarms.”

“I fully expect your company to participate, particularly in light of this alarming new trend,” Blumenthal said of the hearing, which will be in the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Protection, adding that the company needed to explain "the platform’s policies, practices, and commitments to safeguard their young users."

Social media platfoms have lately been prominent targets in Washington, particularly in regard to their impact on children. Facebook, for example, has recently taken hits over its plans on a children’s version of Instagram as well as research on the impact of Instagram on young people.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.