Why Is Iowa Suing TikTok?
One of the most popular social media platforms has been facing a lot of scrutiny over the past few years.
TikTok's popularity took off during the COVID-19 pandemic and has maintained its status as one of the fastest growing platforms in the market, according to reports.
Now, TikTok is being sued by the state of Iowa over claims that the app is misleading parents about their safeguards for children on the app.
On Wednesday, January 17th a unique lawsuit was filed by the state of Iowa's Attorney General Brenna Bird. She is alleging that the social media platform is violating the rights of parents in the Hawkeye State.
Why Is Iowa Suing Tik Tok?
According to an official statement from Iowa's Attorney General, there are quite a few reasons for this lawsuit.
“TikTok has kept parents in the dark,” said Attorney General Bird. “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. "
The suit alleges that Tik Tok and its parent company ByteDance LTD. has a rating for people twelve-years of age and older in the app store, "despite frequent and intense adult content."
This "adult content" includes;
- Sexual content and nudity
- Profanity and crude humor
- Mature and suggestive themes
- Alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use
The lawsuit alleges that the app creators have found a way to work, "...around parental controls on Apple devices by wrongfully rating its app “12+.”
"TikTok has sneaked past parental blocks by misrepresenting the severity of its content. But no longer. As a mom and prosecutor, I am committed to equipping parents with information to keep their kids safe and to holding TikTok accountable," Iowa Attorney General Bird said in her statement.
In addition, the Iowa Attorney General's office claims that TikTok has violated the Iowa Consumer Fraud Act.
"The law prohibits unfair practices, deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, concealment, suppression, or omission of a material fact in connection with the advertisement, sale, or lease of consumer merchandise, or the solicitation of contributions for charitable purposes."
You can read the full lawsuit here on the official Iowa Attorney General website.
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