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TikTok is being investigated by the European Union to protect children

TikTok is being investigated by the European Union to protect children

The European Union has officially launched an investigation into TikTok, the popular video-sharing platform, to find out whether the company has taken appropriate measures to protect underage users on its platform. The investigation will also examine the veracity of allegations that TikTok violated EU digital services law.

The focus of the investigation

Through this procedure, the European Commission will analyze in detail TikTok's functions, systems and policies in relation to specific content suspected of being infringing. The goal of this investigation is to ensure that TikTok complies with the necessary requirements imposed on large social media platforms to reduce the risk of users becoming addicted to its content as well as to protect the privacy and safety of underage users.

Transparency in advertising and access to data

As part of the investigation, the committee will also evaluate whether TikTok was transparent about advertising on its platform and whether it gave researchers sufficient access to its data. In response to this question, a TikTok spokesperson said that the platform has been a leader in offering features and settings to protect teens and keep children under 13 off the app.

Consequences of non-compliance with the EU Digital Services Act

It is worth noting that social media companies operating in the European Union are subject to the obligations stipulated in the Digital Services Law. The law, which came into effect in August, imposes tougher requirements on big tech companies – those with more than 45 million monthly users in the EU – and aims to protect people's rights online. TikTok, for example, has nearly 136 million monthly active users in the European Union, according to European Commission data. Companies that violate the rules can be fined up to 6% of their annual global revenue.

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TikTok and X are in the crosshairs of the European Commission

This is the second time in months that the European Commission has initiated formal proceedings against a large social media company. At the end of last year, the entity announced that it was investigating X, the social media network formerly known as Twitter, to determine whether it had not complied with legal obligations to combat the spread of illegal content and misinformation. Both investigations are in response to requests sent by the Commission to TikTok and X to provide further information on the measures they were taking to comply with the Digital Services Act.

TikTok, like all other major social media platforms, has a responsibility to ensure the security and privacy of its users while providing a quality service. This investigation reinforces the ongoing need for compliance with legal regulations and guidelines, as well as transparency and accountability from social media companies.