House Democrat asks TikTok for information on showing ‘dangerous content’ to kids
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) is calling for TikTok to disclose information about the its algorithm and the videos shown to minors on the platform.
Krishnamoorthi, chair of the House Oversight subcommittee on economic and consumer policy, on Wednesday asked TikTok to send over relevant data and documents related to “dangerous content” shown to minors.
“The Subcommittee is deeply concerned that TikTok risks harming millions of children because of its failure to adequately police the harmful content on its app while it continues to experience rapid growth,” he wrote in a letter to the company.
The letter focuses on concerns over TikTok’s algorithm, which Krishnamoorthi argues is “dangerous for minors” because it learns about users in a way that “exploits their vulnerabilities” faster than other platforms.
“TikTok’s algorithm can then send children into endless spools of dangerous and inappropriate content,” he wrote.
A spokesperson for TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The letter cites a Wall Street Journal report that found the platform recommended videos containing sexually explicit and drug-related content to accounts disguised as being ages 13-15.
Krishnamoorthi’s push for TikTok to disclose information about potentially dangerous content shown to children comes as Congress ramps up pressure on tech giants to be more transparent about platforms’ impact on young users.
Pressure built after the Journal reported on internal leaked documents about research showing Instagram’s toxic impact on teen users. Meta, the new parent company name for Facebook and Instagram, has pushed back on the reports and argues the research has been mischaracterized.
But Congress has increased scrutiny on Meta’s platform and other social media outlets.
TikTok faced its first grilling from Congress last month at a Senate hearing.
Senators pressed a TikTok executive, along with executives from YouTube and SnapChat, to disclose research about their products’ influence on kids and teens.
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