Iowa Lawsuit Accuses TikTok of Deceiving Parents in Handling of Children’s Information

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The state of Iowa is suing TikTok, alleging that the social media company misleads parents about the kinds of content available to young users. The lawsuit from Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird accuses TikTok of hosting “sexual content, drugs, alcohol, intense profanity, self-harm messages, and other X-rated content,” making videos that aren’t age appropriate easily accessible for children and teens in the state. “TikTok represents to Iowa parents and Iowa children that inappropriate content on its platform, including drugs, nudity, alcohol, and profanity, is ‘infrequent,'” the lawsuit states, slamming those claims as “lies.”The state specifically takes issue with TikTok’s age rating in app marketplaces. Providing age ratings for social apps that surface endless waves of niche algorithmic user-generated content has always been more of an art than a science, but Iowa argues that TikTok intentionally misrepresents itself to parents. Iowa is the latest state to sue the app over concerns around the content it serves to underage users, joining Indiana, Arkansas and Utah.