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EU to probe TikTok over potential online breaches

(Sharecast News) - The European Union is investigating whether social media platform TikTok has breached online content rules around child safety and whether it encourages addictive behaviour. "Today we open an investigation into TikTok over suspected breach of transparency & obligations to protect minors: addictive design & screen time limits, rabbit hole effect, age verification, default privacy settings," said EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton.

The probe is taking place under the EU's Digital Services Act (DSA), which requires online platforms and search engines to take tougher measures to tackle illegal online content and risks to public security.

ByteDance, TikTok's owner, could face fines of up to 6% of its global turnover if the short video platform is found guilty of breaching the DSA rules.

The European Commission said the investigation would look at how TikTok's designs its algorithmic systems which may stimulate behavioural addictions and/or create so-called 'rabbit hole effects', where users are lured into continual viewing of its videos.

It will also look at whether TikTok has put in place appropriate and proportionate measures to ensure "a high level of privacy, safety and security for minors" and compliance with DSA obligations to provide a searchable and reliable repository for advertisements.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com

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