TikTok, The Latest Social Media Platform To Be Warned By EU

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The EU has warned TikTok about “disinformation” spreading on the platform after Hamas’ attack on Israel. It urged CEO Shou Zi Chew in a letter to “urgently step up” efforts, and spell out “within the next 24 hours” how it is complying with European law. The EU previously warned X and Meta about such content. It said TikTok needed to be mindful of its popularity with young people.

“TikTok has a particular obligation to protect children & teenagers from violent content and terrorist propaganda as well as death challenges & potentially life-threatening content,” said EU commissioner Thierry Breton in a post on X.

X was given a similar 24-hour deadline on Tuesday. The firm’s chief executive, Linda Yaccarino responded by telling the bloc it had removed or flagged “tens of thousands of pieces of content” since Hamas attacked Israel. She also said it had removed hundreds of accounts. Facebook and Instagram-owner, Meta, has also been handed a similar warning about disinformation – and a 24-hour deadline – by the EU. The EU declined to comment on whether it had received a response from Meta, but a European Commission spokesperson said “contacts are ongoing” with the company’s compliance team.

The EU introduced new laws in August 2023 which regulate the kind of content that is allowed online. The Digital Services Act (DSA) requires so-called “very large online platforms” to proactively remove “illegal content”, and show they have taken measures to do so if requested.

The DSA allows the EU to conduct interviews and inspections, and if it is not satisfied, proceed to a formal investigation. If it decides that a platform has not complied or is not addressing the problems it has identified, and risks harming users, the commission can take more drastic steps. This can include a heavy fine, and as a last resort it can even request that judges ban the platform from the EU temporarily.

 

 

 

 

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