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EU Investigates TikTok Over Child Protection Compliance

The European Union (EU) has launched an official inquiry into TikTok’s adherence to regulations safeguarding minors online, as outlined in the latest Digital Services Act (DSA).

This investigation marks the EU’s second probe into major online platforms under the DSA, following its examination of tech mogul Elon Musk’s X in December.

Of particular concern to Brussels is TikTok’s perceived failure to adequately address the adverse effects its platform may have on young users. Central to this worry is the “rabbit hole” phenomenon, where algorithm-driven recommendations could potentially expose users to harmful content.

Moreover, the European Commission has raised doubts about the effectiveness of TikTok’s age verification mechanisms, questioning their reasonableness and proportionality.

The commission’s scrutiny extends beyond child protection, encompassing areas such as advertising transparency and data accessibility for researchers. This investigation follows a comprehensive analysis of TikTok’s risk assessment report and its responses to inquiries regarding its measures against illicit content, safeguarding minors, and data accessibility.

Commissioner Thierry Breton emphasized the critical role TikTok plays in ensuring the safety of millions of young Europeans online, underscoring the need for robust enforcement measures to uphold their well-being.

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With over 142 million monthly users in the EU alone, TikTok’s compliance with the DSA holds significant implications for digital safety standards.

Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager stressed the importance of TikTok’s proactive reassessment of its services to mitigate risks for users of all ages.

TikTok has pledged its commitment to enhancing safety features and collaborating with industry experts to uphold online protection standards, signaling a proactive approach to addressing regulatory concerns.

The investigation carries the potential for substantial fines under the DSA, highlighting the EU’s commitment to enforcing stringent measures on digital platforms.

The DSA, applicable since February 17, underscores the EU’s proactive stance in ensuring comprehensive online safety measures across major platforms, including TikTok, X, Facebook, and Instagram.

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