Within the expansive world of mobile, there are few forms of app to have surpassed gaming at the pinnacle of the industry's revenue stream. Among the exclusive few to have achieved this are casino apps, dating apps, and TikTok.
At one point, TikTok was the fastest-growing social media app in the world. It is based on an app for the Chinese market called Douyin. However, the app has not proved popular in certain circles with a new coalition demanding that Apple and Google take immediate action against the app.
Montana’s Attorney General Austin Knudsen, together with another 14 state attorneys general, has called upon both Apple and Google to correct age ratings of TikTok, with the deadline for such a change set as the end of 2022.
Cause for concern?
Among the reasons for this request relating to age rating is that parents would then supposedly be in a better position to protect their children from "harmful content" on the internet. Knudson and the other 14 attorneys general stated in letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai that TikTok’s age rating is "deceptive" as there is the potential for exposure to videos with drug and alcohol use, content around eating disorders, songs with explicit lyrics and more, "whether [people] are searching for it or not".
If Apple and Google do not alter the age rating of TikTok, American states are reserving the right to take legal action on the grounds of misrepresentation, with litigation and civil penalties possible.
"Parents depend on the accuracy of age ratings," the letters read. "When parents are deceived into letting their kids download TikTok, there are real consequences.
"It’s past time for Apple and Google to do their part in helping parents keep their kids safe online and increase their TikTok ratings."
The full accusation includes further concerns rising from the app.
A recent virtual event was held to show game companies the value of TikTok, as "TikTok makes them play it".