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Iowa sues TikTok for allegedly misleading parents about inappropriate content

Jan 18

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TikTok is facing another legal challenge, this time in Iowa, as the state’s Attorney General Brenna Bird filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, Jan. 17, alleging that the social media app is misleading parents about the content children are accessing and viewing. Seeking financial penalties, Bird, who is a Republican, claims TikTok and its parent company ByteDance lied about inappropriate content on its platform, including nudity, drug use, alcohol use, and self-harm.

Other states have filed similar lawsuits, though a judge in Indiana threw out the case against TikTok, which faces many other legal challenges, from inappropriate content to privacy concerns. It is not just TikTok facing backlash and challenges when it comes to protecting children from harmful content on social media; globally, there have been calls for social platforms to protect children.

“TikTok has kept parents in the dark,” Bird said. “It’s time we shine a light on TikTok for exposing young children to graphic materials such as sexual content, self-harm, illegal drug use, and worse.”

In a statement regarding the latest lawsuit in Iowa, TikTok said it “has industry leading safeguards in place for young people, including parental controls and time limits for those under 18. We are committed to tackling industry wide challenges and will continue to prioritize community safety.”

CEOs of several social media companies, including TikTok, are set to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 31 over online child sexual exploitation.

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TIKTOK IS FACING ANOTHER LEGAL CHALLENGE, THIS TIME IN IOWA AS THE STATE’S ATTORNEY GENERAL FILED A LAWSUIT ON WEDNESDAY ALLEGING THAT THE SOCIAL MEDIA APP IS MISLEADING PARENTS ABOUT THE CONTENT CHILDREN ARE ACCESSING AND VIEWING.

SEEKING FINANCIAL PENALTIES – IOWA CLAIMS TIKTOK LIED ABOUT INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT ON ITS PLATFORM – INCLUDING NUDITY, DRUG USE, ALCOHOL USE, AND SELF HARM.

OTHER STATES HAVE FILED SIMILAR LAWSUITS.

IN A STATEMENT TIKTOK SAID IT HAS SAFEGUARDS IN PLACE FOR YOUNG USERS INCLUDING PARENTAL CONTROLS AND TIME LIMITS FOR THOSE UNDER 18.

CEOS OF SEVERAL SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES INCLUDING TIKTOK ARE SET TO TESTIFY IN FRONT OF THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE OVER ONLINE CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION LATER THIS MONTH.

 

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