LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The state of Arkansas sued TikTok and Facebook Meta on Tuesday, alleging that social media companies were misleading consumers about the safety of children on their platforms and the protection of users’ private data.

The state filed two lawsuits against TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance and a third lawsuit against Meta, which also owns Instagram, accusing the companies of violating the state’s deceptive trade practices law.

“TikTok is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” read one of the lawsuits filed in state court. “As long as TikTok is allowed to mislead and mislead Arkansas consumers about the risks to their data, those consumers and their privacy are easy prey.”

governor sarah huckabee sanders and Attorney General Tim Griffin, both republicansannounced the lawsuit facing TikTok growing questions about the security of the data of its users. Both the FBI and Federal Communications Commission officials warned that ByteDance could share TikTok user data with China’s authoritarian government.

One of Sanders’s first moves after she was sworn in as Arkansas governor in January was to sign an executive order banning TikTok on state devices.

One of the lawsuits claims that TikTok is failing to take adequate steps to protect minors who use the platform from inappropriate content, including sexual content and material depicting drug or alcohol use. TikTok did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment on Tuesday.

“We have watched over the past decade as one social media company after another has exploited our children for profit and escaped government oversight,” Sanders said in a statement released by his office. “My administration will not tolerate that failed status quo.”

The lawsuit against Meta accuses the company of manipulating Facebook to maximize the amount of time young people spend on the platform, which it says has helped fuel mental health problems among the state’s youth.

Meta on Tuesday outlined the steps it has taken to protect teens on its platforms, including age verification technology and technology that finds and removes content related to suicide, self-harm or eating disorders.

“These are complex issues, but we will continue to work with parents, experts and regulators, such as state attorneys general, to develop new tools, features and policies that meet the needs of teens and their families,” said Antigone Davis, chief security officer. of Goal. she said in a statement.

Indiana last year filed a similar lawsuit. against TikTok, alleging that the video-sharing platform misleads its users, particularly children, about the level of inappropriate content and the security of consumer information. The Seattle Public School District in January also sued the tech giants behind TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat, seeking to hold them accountable for the youth mental health crisis.

Sanders is also backing a bill moving forward in the Arkansas Legislature that would require parental permission for anyone under the age of 18 to use a social networking site. The proposal, which a Senate panel approved Tuesday, would require social networking sites to verify a user’s age.

Utah became the first state last week to enact such a requirement, although experts have questioned how such rules can be enforced and whether they might create unintended consequences.

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