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EU Investigates TikTok’s Suspected Breaches Of Online Content Rules

The European Union opens an investigation into TikTok’s suspected breaches of online content rules which protect children and transparent advertising, and the social platform is at risk of a hefty fine if Digital Services Act violations are confirmed.

EU industry chief Thierry Breton confirmed the formal investigation via X posts, saying it would look into potential violations “of transparency & obligations to protect minors”.

Breton added it would focus on TikTok’s addictive design and screen time limits, its potential rabbit hole effect, and the platform’s age verification and default privacy settings, to determine whether TikTok is in breach of the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA).

The Digital Services Act requires large platforms to tackle illegal content and public safety risks.

Breton added that the investigation aims to enforce the Digital Services Act in order to create a “safer Internet for youngsters”.

If found in breach of the DSA, ByteDance, the company who owns TikTok, could face fines of up to 6% of its global turnover.

TikTok brought in more than 707 million U.S. dollars in global in-app purchase revenue in the 4th quarter of 2023, according to data analytics firm Statista.

“TikTok has pioneered features and settings to protect teens and keep under-13s off the platform, issues the whole industry is grappling with”, said a TikTok representative in response to the EU’s investigation.

This marks the second DSA investigation after X found itself under scrutiny from the EU Commission last December.

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