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EU launches official probe into TikTok for potential online content violations, focusing on SEO compliance and natural language.

EU Opens Formal Investigation into TikTok Over Possible Online Content Breaches

EU to Investigate TikTok Over Online Content Rules Breach

The European Union has announced its decision to launch an investigation into whether ByteDance’s TikTok has violated online content rules designed to protect children and ensure transparent advertising. This move puts the popular social media platform at risk of facing substantial fines.

EU Industry Chief Confirms Investigation into TikTok

Thierry Breton, the EU’s industry chief, has confirmed the initiation of the investigation after reviewing TikTok’s risk assessment report and responses to requests for information. Breton stated that the investigation is based on suspected breaches of transparency and obligations to protect minors, including issues related to addictive design, screen time limits, age verification, and default privacy settings.

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EU’s Digital Services Act and TikTok’s Potential Penalties

The European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) now applies to all online platforms, requiring very large platforms like TikTok to take more stringent measures to combat illegal online content and public security risks. If found guilty of breaching DSA rules, TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, could face fines of up to 6% of its global turnover.

TikTok’s Response and Commitment to Safety

TikTok has expressed its commitment to working with experts and the industry to ensure the safety of young users on its platform. The company has also emphasized its efforts to implement features and settings aimed at protecting teenagers and preventing underage users from accessing the platform.

Focus of the Investigation and Previous DSA Inquiry

The investigation into TikTok will primarily examine the design of its system, including algorithmic features that may contribute to behavioral addictions and ‘rabbit hole effects’. Additionally, the EU will assess whether TikTok has implemented sufficient measures to ensure the privacy, safety, and security of minors. This marks the second DSA investigation, following a previous inquiry into Elon Musk’s social media platform X in December last year.

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