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Indiana AG Todd Rokita Sues TikTok To Combat Threats From China

December 9, 2022

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita this week announced two separate lawsuits against TikTok — both related to false claims made by the company about its video-sharing app of the same name.

“The TikTok app is a malicious and menacing threat unleashed on unsuspecting Indiana consumers by a Chinese company that knows full well the harms it inflicts on users,” Attorney General Rokita said. “With this pair of lawsuits, we hope to force TikTok to stop its false, deceptive and misleading practices, which violate Indiana law.”

The first lawsuit alleges that TikTok has lured children onto the platform through a variety of misleading representations indicating that the app contains only “infrequent/mild” sexual content, profanity, or drug references — when in reality the app is rife with extreme examples of such material. An essential part of TikTok’s business model is presenting the application as safe and appropriate for children ages 13 to 17.

The second lawsuit asserts that TikTok has reams of highly sensitive data and personal information about Indiana consumers and has deceived those consumers to believe that this information is protected from the Chinese government and Communist Party.

“In multiple ways, TikTok represents a clear and present danger to Hoosiers that is hiding in plain sight in their own pockets,” Attorney General Rokita said. “At the very least, the company owes consumers the truth about the age-appropriateness of its content and the insecurity of the data it collects on users. We hope these lawsuits force TikTok to come clean and change its ways.”

Attorney General Rokita is seeking emergency injunctive relief and civil penalties against the company.

The lawsuits are attached, along with a motion for preliminary injunction.

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