Texas AG Ken Paxton wants Google and Apple to raise TikTok’s maturity rating
December 28, 2022 – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has joined two Montana-led letters to Apple and Google urging the tech companies to raise TikTok’s age rating in their app stores.
Google Play is currently showing a “T” rating, indicating that TikTok is generally appropriate for those aged 13+, while Apple is showing an age rating of “12+”. Paxton said he believes these reviews are misleading.
“TikTok contains a number of objectionable videos that often appear in underage ‘For You’ feeds – which means that without looking, children can be exposed to age-inappropriate content related to alcohol, drug use and sex. ‘ his office said in a press release.
In the letters, the coalition is asking Google to adopt an “M” for “Mature” rating and asking Apple to adopt a “17+” rating.
The letter to Google states: “This deception has real consequences for children and parents. Parents rely on Google Play’s maturity rating descriptions to decide which apps to allow their children to use. . . . Exposure to drug, alcohol and tobacco content on social media increases the likelihood that children will use or experiment with these illegal substances in real life. And exposure to sexual content on TikTok can lead to pornography addiction and even child sexual exploitation by online predators.”
If the two companies don’t make the changes, Paxton said the coalition stands ready to take further action, as the letter to Apple explains: “The undersigned Attorneys General urge you to take immediate action to review the assessment of TikTok in the app.” Store by correct. 12+” to “17+” and the associated age rating descriptions. In the absence of such action, we reserve the right to take legal action, up to and including litigation and civil penalties, against Apple for the ongoing misrepresentations about TikTok in the App Store.”
By Karine Delafosse, LocalToday
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