A group of attorneys general on Tuesday asked Snap and TikTok to work more closely with parental control apps and monitor inappropriate content on their platforms, the latest salvo in a growing battle over child protection between governments and social media companies.

Attorneys general of 43 states and territories said in a letter to executives of the two apps that they feared the companies “failed to take appropriate steps to enable parents to protect their children on your platforms”. In particular, the officials said Snap, which makes the Snapchat app, and TikTok should work more closely with third-party parental control services.

Some people have expressed concern that third-party parental controls keep an eye on young people but do little to prevent them from encountering malicious content. The attorneys general said in the letter, organized by the National Association of Attorneys General, that they did not approve a particular parental control product. They also called on the companies to tighten up their own parental control tools and to better remove content that could be harmful to children.

Concerns that popular social media platforms may expose children to posts that are sexualized, harm their body image or are violent has escalated in recent years. State Attorneys General are currently investigating whether Facebook, owned by Meta, and TikTok, part of the Chinese conglomerate ByteDance, have put young people at risk. President Biden also called for new online privacy rules for children in his State of the Union address earlier this month.

Interest in the issue is worldwide. Britain has set guidelines for how tech companies can design services without violating a child’s privacy, prompting some companies to introduce new parental controls around the world. Britain is also currently considering sweeping online safety legislation that would be enforced by its media regulator.

“We are currently developing new tools for parents that will give them greater insight and visibility into how their children are interacting on Snapchat and ways to report troubling content,” said Rachel Racusen, a Snap spokeswoman. She said the tools would debut “in the coming months.”

Brooke Oberwetter, a spokeswoman for TikTok, said the company appreciated “the prosecutors’ focus on the safety of younger users, and we look forward to engaging with them about our existing features and ideas for future use.” innovation in this area.”

This post States ask Snap and TikTok to give parents more control over apps

was original published at “https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/29/technology/snapchat-tiktok-parental-control.html”

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