Republicans demand app stores raise age rating for TikTok

WASHINGTON D.C. (ADAMS) – Republican state leaders are asking Apple and Google to raise their age ratings for the TikTok app.

15 state attorneys general sent letters to the CEOs of both companies saying the Beijing-launched app contains mature content.

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Montana’s attorney general said the “teen” or “12+” rating is too low because the app “promotes drugs and alcohol use, glorifies eating disorders, and encourages illegal and dangerous challenges.”

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita says the current ratings are “misleading and deceptive to consumers, as explained in two multistate letters — one sent to Apple and the other to Google.”

Rokita’s office released the following this week:

Less than a week after launching two separate lawsuits against TikTok, Attorney General Todd Rokita now is calling on Apple and Google to change their age ratings for the app when making it available to consumers.

“Sexual content, profanity and drug references run rampant in TikTok videos,” Attorney General Rokita said. “This kind of material threatens the mental and physical health of young Hoosiers, and not only TikTok but also vendors must make it clear to families that TikTok is wholly inappropriate for kids.”

Specifically, Attorney General Rokita is demanding that Apple update the TikTok rating from “12+” to “17+” in its App Store and that Google update the TikTok rating from “Teen” to “Mature” in the Google Play Store.

The current ratings are misleading and deceptive to consumers, as explained in two multistate letters — one sent to Apple and the other to Google.

On Dec. 7, Attorney General Rokita filed two lawsuits against TikTok.

One lawsuit alleges that TikTok lures children onto the platform through a variety of misleading representations.

The other asserts that TikTok — which is owned by a Chinese company — has reams of highly sensitive data and personal information about Indiana consumers and has deceived those consumers to believe that this information is protected from the Chinese government and Communist Party.

“We are determined to hold this company accountable,” Attorney General Rokita said. “And that goes for its enablers as well. We’re ready to pursue further legal actions if necessary.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is suing TikTok in two lawsuits.

Rokita is accusing the company of making false claims about its video application, saying it is “rife with extreme examples” of profanity, drug references, and sexual content.

His office says the app was presented as being safe and appropriate for people between 13 and 17. The second lawsuit says the company has a lot of personal information and highly sensitive data about users.

Rokita’s office released the following:

Attorney General Todd Rokita this week announced two separate lawsuits against TikTok — both related to false claims made by the company about its video-sharing app of the same name.

“The TikTok app is a malicious and menacing threat unleashed on unsuspecting Indiana consumers by a Chinese company that knows full well the harms it inflicts on users,” Attorney General Rokita said. “With this pair of lawsuits, we hope to force TikTok to stop its false, deceptive and misleading practices, which violate Indiana law.”

The first lawsuit alleges that TikTok has lured children onto the platform through a variety of misleading representations indicating that the app contains only “infrequent/mild” sexual content, profanity, or drug references — when in reality the app is rife with extreme examples of such material. An essential part of TikTok’s business model is presenting the application as safe and appropriate for children ages 13 to 17.

The second lawsuit asserts that TikTok has reams of highly sensitive data and personal information about Indiana consumers and has deceived those consumers to believe that this information is protected from the Chinese government and Communist Party.

“In multiple ways, TikTok represents a clear and present danger to Hoosiers that is hiding in plain sight in their own pockets,” Attorney General Rokita said. “At the very least, the company owes consumers the truth about the age-appropriateness of its content and the insecurity of the data it collects on users. We hope these lawsuits force TikTok to come clean and change its ways.”

Attorney General Rokita is seeking emergency injunctive relief and civil penalties against the company.