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EU threatens to droop TikTok Lite’s money-for-views program over addiction fears

This characterize taken on April 11, 2024, in Paris, presentations the emblem of the Chinese language social network utility TikTok Lite displayed in Apple’s App Store. The social network TikTok, owned by the Chinese language company ByteDance, has launched a brand unusual utility in France and Spain, known as TikTok Lite, which enables its customers to receives a commission by watching videos, it offered on April 10, 2024. Users frail 18 or older can “win components by discovering unusual exclaim or finishing clear actions,” the social network acknowledged.

Kiran Ridley | Afp | Getty Photography

The European Union on Monday opened lawsuits against ByteDance’s TikTok and threatened to droop its newly launched TikTok Lite rewards program, where customers can make components for liking exclaim or interesting chums to the app.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, acknowledged TikTok had 24 hours to give a threat overview document for TikTok Lite or face fines. The social media app was once given till Might 3 to give further requested data.

The commission acknowledged it was once involved TikTok Lite’s “Activity and Reward Program” had been launched “with out prior diligent overview of the dangers it entails, in explicit these connected to the addictive attain of the platforms.”

Youth are concept to be at threat given the suspected absence of effective age verification mechanisms on TikTok, the EU acknowledged.

A spokesperson for TikTok was once now not right away on hand to statement when contacted by CNBC on Monday.

The probe represents the second formal lawsuits the EU has launched against the social media company. In February, the EU offered it was once investigating whether TikTok had broken guidelines relating to to the protection of minors, promoting transparency, and the threat management of addictive invent and rotten exclaim.

“Underneath the Digital Services and products Act, on-line platforms like the responsibility to assess and address any probably risks their customers could per chance face,” EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager acknowledged in an announcement.

“So, the Commission has opened a compliance case that urges TikTok to post an outline and provide more data on the easiest contrivance it is maintaining its customers from probably risks on their platform,” she added.

What is TikTok Lite?

TikTok Lite, which was once launched in France and Spain this month, is a brand unusual app with a functionality aimed toward customers frail 18 years and older.

The app’s rewards program enables customers to make components whereas performing clear duties, corresponding to watching videos or following creators. These components can then be exchanged for rewards, corresponding to gift cards or Amazon vouchers.

Underneath the phrases of the EU’s sweeping Digital Services and products Act, companies with bigger than Forty five million average energetic customers within the bloc are labeled as very neat on-line platforms and must follow stringent guidelines to fight unlawful and rotten exclaim on their platforms.

“Never-ending streams of rapid and rapid-paced videos will most certainly be seen as fun, but also show our younger of us to risks of addiction, fear, depression, eating disorders, low consideration spans,” EU industry chief Thierry Breton acknowledged in an announcement.

“With our first DSA non-compliance case against TikTok amassed ongoing, the corporate has launched TikTok Lite which financially rewards extra masks time. We suspect TikTok ‘Lite’ will most certainly be as toxic and addictive as cigarettes ‘light,'” Breton acknowledged.

“Unless TikTok offers compelling proof of its security, which it has failed to invent till now, we stand willing to trigger DSA intervening time measures in conjunction with the suspension of TikTok Lite characteristic which we suspect could per chance generate addiction.”

Correction: TikTok Lite was once launched in France and Spain this month. An earlier version misstated the timing.

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