EU issues ultimatum to Bytedance over TikTok lite

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

ByteDance’s TikTok has been issued a 24-hour ultimatum by the European Commission to furnish a risk assessment concerning its recent app launch, TikTok Lite, introduced this month in France and Spain.

The Commission expressed apprehensions regarding potential adverse effects on children and users’ mental well-being, invoking the Digital Services Act, a set of EU tech regulations, under the purview of EU industry chief Thierry Breton.

This development follows a two-month investigation initiated by Breton into TikTok for possible legal violations. The Digital Services Act mandates companies to take proactive measures to combat illegal and harmful content on their platforms, with penalties of up to 6% of their global annual turnover for non-compliance.

The Commission emphasized that TikTok should have conducted a risk assessment before rolling out the new app across the 27-country European Union.

Breton, addressing the issue on the X social platform, raised concerns about the addictive and potentially toxic nature of “social media lite,” drawing parallels to the discourse surrounding “light” cigarettes.

Emphasizing the protection of minors under the Digital Services Act, Breton underscored the need for stringent scrutiny of TikTok Lite’s impact, particularly on addictive behavior and mental health.

TikTok Lite, targeted at users aged 18+, features a “Reward Program” enabling users to accrue points by engaging in various platform activities like watching videos, liking content, following creators, or inviting friends. These points can be redeemed for rewards such as Amazon vouchers, PayPal gift cards, or TikTok coins for tipping creators.

The Commission mandated TikTok to submit the risk assessment for TikTok Lite within 24 hours, along with other requested information by April 26. Following TikTok’s response, the Commission will conduct a thorough analysis and determine subsequent actions. A TikTok spokesperson confirmed the company’s engagement with the Commission and pledged to provide the requested information promptly.

Additionally, the Commission sought details on the measures implemented by TikTok to mitigate systemic risks associated with the platform.

Share this Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *