TikTok Must Shield Kids from Explicit Online Content

Written by PTC | Published March 21, 2023

LOS ANGELES (March 21, 2023) – The Parents Television and Media Council said that TikTok should ensure that children and teens are better protected from harmful content – including R- and TV-MA-rated fare marketed to them by Hollywood – and is urging TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew to use his testimony before Congress this Thursday to announce more protections.

In a 2022 report, A TikTok-ing Time Bomb, the PTC revealed that Hollywood is marketing teen-targeted TV shows with explicit adult content to young teens through TikTok and other social media sites popular with 13-17-year-olds.

“TikTok is allowing Hollywood to market sexually explicit TV-MA and R-rated content directly to children and teens. Despite TikTok’s recent move to limit children to one hour per day of screen time on the app, they are still able to access explicit, and potentially harmful, content. We know there are a multitude of other problems TikTok and other social media platforms can foster, and we call on the TikTok CEO to address additional remedies for online child protection in his Congressional testimony this week,” said PTC Vice President Melissa Henson.

“We have called on Apple and Google to increase TikTok’s age rating on the Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store to at least ‘17+,’ something 15 state attorneys general have also called for.

“Our children cannot be at the mercy of Big Tech. The stakes are high. TikTok must see its crucial role. Congress must hold the company to account, and should also lead the way in introducing legislation to protect children online, such as the Kids Online Safety Act, the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act, and other solutions,” Henson said.

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