Texas AG Paxton Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Human Trafficking, Drug Smuggling Content

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Friday that he is launching an investigation into Chinese app TikTok to see if content shared on the popular platform enables human trafficking or drug smuggling.

“Chinese-owned company TikTok may be complicit in child exploitation, sex trafficking, human trafficking, drug smuggling and other unimaginable horrors,” Paxton said in a press release. “I will get to the bottom of these concerns and make sure Big Tech doesn’t interfere with the safety and security of Texans.”  

At an attorneys general meeting last month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said that drug cartels are now using the app to recruit drug runners, KVUE reported.

“TikTok should be ashamed, condemned and have a legal action brought against it for promoting human trafficking in Texas and the United States of America,” Abbott said then.

Fox Business reports that the Texas Department of Public Safety has collected content from the platform that allegedly shows cartels offering cash to ferry migrants or illegal substances across the southern border.

Paxton issued two civil investigative demands to TikTok, Inc. on Friday.

“Civil investigative demands are just questions for TikTok, to find out what their policies are, to find out what their experience has been, whether they know about this, if they have known about it, whether they report it to law enforcement,” Paxton said during an appearance on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria.”

“We’re going to find out what’s really going on, because, obviously, we don’t want companies participating in human smuggling, sex trafficking and drug trafficking,” he continued.

TikTok has until March 18 to submit its materials to Paxton’s office, according to the CID documents.

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