Yes, Apple and Google Should Increase TikTok’s Age Rating to Protect Kids

Written by PTC | Published December 14, 2022

LOS ANGELES (December 14, 2022) – The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) is echoing a call by 15 state attorneys general for Apple and Google to increase TikTok’s age rating on the Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store to at least “17+”, given the explicit adult content that is marketed to children by entertainment companies.

PTC research revealed that Hollywood is marketing teen-targeted TV shows with explicit adult content to young teens through social media sites like TikTok that are popular with 13-17-year-olds.

“The state attorneys general are right: Apple and Google should rate the TikTok app for people over 17 to help better inform parents and to help keep children away from social media sites that can be toxic to their well-being. Children and teens have flocked to TikTok, yet they can access harmful content, and parents aren’t always aware. Increasing the app’s age rating would also help make the distinction that TikTok is not for young people – that simple, common-sense change could literally save lives,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“Kids have been at the mercy of Big Tech, Hollywood, and other forces that target them on social media. The result is a mental health crisis among youth. This dramatic increase in childhood depression, suicide and self-harm appears exactly to mirror the childhood increase in social media screen time. This must change.

“Apple and Google could help by making simple changes to increase the age rating of TikTok. The Federal Trade Commission should also reopen investigations into the entertainment industry’s use of social media platforms as a marketing tool for adult-rated content,” Winter said.

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