15 US states ask Google, Apple to increase TikTok’s age ratings

A group of 15 Republican US state attorneys general have demanded that executives at Google and Apple increase age ratings for the TikTok app on the app stores.

The attorneys general sent letters to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook in which they said “TikTok contains frequent adult content, including about sex and drug use, and can only plausibly qualify for a mature or “17+” rating, not the current teen classifications listed on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store”, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The attorneys general also warned Google and Apple that they would face legal action from the states if they failed to take action on TikTok’s rating.

“Parents are the first line of defence, but their job is being made more difficult by ratings that misrepresent the true content found on the platform,” US State Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen was quoted as saying.

“It’s past time for Apple and Google to do their part in helping parents keep their kids safe online and increase their TikTok ratings,” he added.

A TikTok spokesman said, “one of our most important commitments is supporting the safety and well-being of teens, which we strive to accomplish through robust safety policies and parental controls, age-appropriate account settings and over 40,000 safety professionals dedicated to keeping our community safe and welcoming,” according to the report.

However, Google and Apple representatives did not respond to requests for comment, the report added.

Last week, the US state of Indiana sued popular social media app TikTok over safety and security breaches.

According to BBC, Todd Rokita, Indiana’s attorney general, has accused TikTok’s parent company ByteDance of violating the state’s consumer protection laws.

The state claimed that the app fails to protect young people’s privacy.

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