The state of Iowa accuses TikTok and has taken legal action against the social media platform, with Attorney General Brenna Bird filing a lawsuit alleging that the social media platform deliberately misinforms parents regarding the nature of content accessible to young users.
Iowa Accuses TikTok of Inappropriate Content
Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird accuses TikTok of providing easy access to “sexual content, drugs, alcohol, intense profanity, self-harm messages, and other X-rated content” for children and teens in the state. The lawsuit challenges TikTok’s claims that inappropriate content on its platform is “infrequent,” deeming these assertions as outright lies.
The lawsuit specifically scrutinizes TikTok’s age rating on app marketplaces, questioning the effectiveness of age-restricted mode for younger users. Iowa argues that TikTok intentionally misrepresents itself to parents, seeking an injunction to compel the company to rectify its deceptive practices under the state’s Consumer Fraud Act.
Concerns Over Content Filtering
In addition to concerns about sexual content, the lawsuit highlights TikTok’s failure to adequately filter out mature content, including videos promoting self-harm, suicide, and eating disorders; this legal action mirrors a broader trend, as several states, including Indiana, Arkansas, and Utah, join Iowa in suing TikTok over content-related concerns. The lawsuit highlights platforms’ challenges in accurately categorizing and restricting content in a rapidly evolving digital arena.