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15 state attorneys general want TikTok reclassified, Rubio wants it banned

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It seems with each passing week, the troubles for TikTok just keeping piling up. In just the last few days, 15 state attorneys general demanded the app’s content rating be raised, three more states banned the app from government-owned devices, and there’s a bipartisan effort in Congress to ban TikTok altogether.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company with ties to the communist government. Attorneys general from 15 states think at the very least, the Apple and Google app stores should reclassify TikTok as inappropriate for teens.

The Wall Street Journal reported the Republican attorney general sent letters to the heads of the tech companies. The attorneys general said TikTok videos frequently contain references to sex, drug use and other mature content. The attorneys general warned there could be legal consequences if the tech companies don’t comply.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen is leading the state coalition against TikTok. Other attorneys general in the coalition represent Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

TikTok is now banned on government-owned devices in eight states. Alabama, Utah and Iowa are the latest members of that list. In a press release, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said, “It is clear TikTok represents a national security risk to our country, and I refuse to subject the citizens of Iowa to that risk.”

In Congress, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio announced bipartisan legislation to ban TikTok outright from the U.S. marketplace. The legislation calls for a block of all transactions from any social media company under the influence of the Chinese or Russian governments. Senator Rubio said a companion piece of legislation will be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives as well.

Spokespeople for TikTok have said repeatedly that the Chinese government doesn’t have access to data from users in the U.S., and said the push for bans are politically motivated.

Reuters contributed to this report.

IT SEEMS WITH EACH PASSING WEEK, THE TROUBLES FOR TIKTOK JUST KEEPING PILING UP.

IN JUST THE LAST FEW DAYS, 15 STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL DEMANDED THE APP’S CONTENT RATING BE RAISED, THREE MORE STATES BANNED THE APP FROM GOVERNMENT OWNED DEVICES, AND THERE’S A BIPARTISAN EFFORT IN CONGRESS TO BAN TIKTOK ALTOGETHER.

TIKTOK IS OWNED BY BYTEDANCE, A CHINESE COMPANY WITH TIES TO THE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT. ATTORNEYS GENERAL FROM 15 STATES THINK AT THE VERY LEAST, THE APPLE AND GOOGLE APP STORES SHOULD RECLASSIFY TIKTOK AS INAPPROPRIATE FOR TEENS.

IN LETTERS TO THE HEADS OF THE TECH COMPANIES, THE ATTORNEYS GENERAL, WHO ARE ALL REPUBLICAN, SAID TIKTOK VIDEOS FREQUENTLY CONTAIN REFERENCES TO SEX, DRUG USE, AND OTHER MATURE CONTENT. THE AGs WARNED THERE COULD BE LEGAL CONSEQUENCES IF THE TECH COMPANIES DON’T COMPLY.

THE APP IS NOW BANNED ON GOVERNMENT-OWNED DEVICES IN EIGHT STATES. ALABAMA, UTAH AND IOWA ARE THE LATEST MEMBERS OF THAT LIST. IN A PRESS RELEASE, IOWA GOVERNOR KIM REYNOLDS SAID “IT IS CLEAR TIKTOK REPRESENTS A NATIONAL SECURITY RISK TO OUR COUNTRY, AND I REFUSE TO SUBJECT THE CITIZENS OF IOWA TO THAT RISK.”

IN CONGRESS, FLORIDA REPUBLICAN SENATOR MARCO RUBIO ANNOUNCED BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION TO BAN TIKTOK OUTRIGHT FROM THE U.S. MARKETPLACE. THE LEGISLATION CALLS FOR A BLOCK OF ALL TRANSACTIONS FROM ANY SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANY UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE CHINESE OR RUSSIAN GOVERNMENTS. SENATOR RUBIO SAYS A COMPANION PIECE OF LEGISLATION WILL BE INTRODUCED IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AS WELL.

SPOKESPEOPLE FOR TIKTOK HAVE SAID REPEATEDLY THAT THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT DOESN’T HAVE ACCESS TO DATA FROM USERS IN THE U.S., AND SAID THE PUSH FOR BANS ARE POLITICALLY MOTIVATED.

Media Landscape

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124 Other sources covering this story

Bias Distribution

L 20%
C 59%
R 20%

59% of the sources are Center

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It seems with each passing week, the troubles for TikTok just keeping piling up. In just the last few days, 15 state attorneys general demanded the app’s content rating be raised, three more states banned the app from government-owned devices, and there’s a bipartisan effort in Congress to ban TikTok altogether.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company with ties to the communist government. Attorneys general from 15 states think at the very least, the Apple and Google app stores should reclassify TikTok as inappropriate for teens.

The Wall Street Journal reported the Republican attorney general sent letters to the heads of the tech companies. The attorneys general said TikTok videos frequently contain references to sex, drug use and other mature content. The attorneys general warned there could be legal consequences if the tech companies don’t comply.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen is leading the state coalition against TikTok. Other attorneys general in the coalition represent Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

TikTok is now banned on government-owned devices in eight states. Alabama, Utah and Iowa are the latest members of that list. In a press release, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said, “It is clear TikTok represents a national security risk to our country, and I refuse to subject the citizens of Iowa to that risk.”

In Congress, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio announced bipartisan legislation to ban TikTok outright from the U.S. marketplace. The legislation calls for a block of all transactions from any social media company under the influence of the Chinese or Russian governments. Senator Rubio said a companion piece of legislation will be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives as well.

Spokespeople for TikTok have said repeatedly that the Chinese government doesn’t have access to data from users in the U.S., and said the push for bans are politically motivated.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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