TikTok could be banned in Europe

January 24, 2023 by
Frank Calviño

TikTok could be banned in Europe by order of the European Commission. The Commission warned the popular platform that a complete ban could follow swiftly if the social network refuses to accept the rules currently in force in the European Union regarding third-party data and Digital Services. 

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During a videoconference meeting with the CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, they branded it unacceptable for users to access videos with dangerous content and even capable of putting their own lives at risk through apparently fun and harmless functionalities.

In addition, to ‘prevent users' data from being transferred to third countries such as China’ said sources in the Commission.

TikTok content could be life-threatening 

The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, has told him that "it is not acceptable that behind seemingly fun and harmless features, users take seconds to access harmful and sometimes even life-threatening content."

Thus, TikTok will have to change the way it operates and adjust to the new European legislation before September 1, 2023, ensuring that its content is suitable for a particularly young and vulnerable audience.

The Digital Services Directive (DSA), in force since November 2022, agrees on new platform obligations. 

The Directive applies to essential entities operating in a defined list of sectors, outlined in Annexes I and II of the Directive: for instance, digital infrastructures (e.g., cloud computing service providers, data center service providers, providers of public electronic communications networks or services) and digital providers (e.g., providers of online marketplaces, providers of social networking services platforms).

The Directive was created to set the baseline for cybersecurity risk management measures. 

In addition, the Directive aims to set the baseline for reporting obligations. In particular, if an incident has a significant impact on the provision of services covered by the Directive, an authority must be notified without undue delay.

Forced to remove illegal content by law 

The rule will oblige the social network to remove illegal content and improve transparency about how the algorithms that determine what the audience tends to see work. 

If they repeatedly fail to comply, Brussels will have the option of fining them 6% of their global turnover or even banning them from the European single market. 

Failure to comply with the recent Digital Services Law could also result in the following penalties:

  • Legal penalties
  • Fines
  • Limitation of online presence
  • Prohibition

Overall, it seems like TikTok will have to either adapt or disappear because this situation is similar to one the popular video platform is going through in the USA., where it is also accused of mishandling personal data and not properly supervising the content its spread on TikTok. 

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