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TikTok must improve content moderation to comply with the new EU law

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EU Commissioner Thierry Breton has said TikTok needs to do more to comply with the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) in the future.

“Recent events have demonstrated the impact of TikTok on democracies and the importance of independent law enforcement by the European Union,” he said. Now is the time to speed up the compliance process. »

He added that the Chinese company had agreed to carry out a “stress test” of readiness, which showed that additional measures were necessary.

When new legislation for digital services in the European Union comes into force on August 25, companies will have to control hate speech, misinformation and other harmful and illegal content on their sites.

TikTok is one of 19 companies designated by the European Union as a very large online platform (VLOP), and is therefore subject to stricter regulations. They will have to monitor and manage risks, conduct external and independent audits, share data with relevant authorities and adopt a code of conduct. Fines can be up to 6% of the annual turnover.

The tests conducted by TikTok would have focused on child protection, recommendation systems, content moderation, illegal content, data access, and transparency.

Mr. Breton acknowledged that TikTok was making “organizational improvements”, including changing content recommendation systems and improving transparency.

“TikTok is fully committed to implementing the DSA and promoting transparency and accountability,” said Caroline Greer, TikTok’s Head of Public Policy in Brussels.

We welcome these opportunities to speak candidly about our efforts and look forward to continued cooperation with the European Commission. »

Mr Breton had previously held a similar meeting with Twitter to discuss stress testing. He said the company takes the exercise “very seriously” but that its “work must continue”.

Meanwhile, the Amazon giant is currently challenging its VLOP designation, saying it is primarily a retailer rather than a communications platform. The EU says it will defend its position in court.

Last March, Mr. Breton pledged to crack down on companies that tried to evade their responsibilities as VLOPs by reducing the number of their users.

“I regret to say that a few online platforms failed to live up to their commitments and either failed to provide user numbers or simply stated that they did not meet the set limits,” he said.

“Let me make this point clear: When I say online platforms should publish ‘user numbers’, I mean numbers, not public data. We will not tolerate stalling tactics when it comes to DSA enforcement; we will take action and prosecute companies that fail to comply with the law.”

Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Emma Woollacott

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