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TikTok Will No Longer Be Able To Hide As New EU Law Forces It To Open Up

The world of social media picks up the pace faster than one would expect. We’ve seen Facebook undergo massive periods of growth in 8 years with a user base comprising billions while TikTok managed to reach its fame in just 5 years.

But throughout that time, we’ve seen TikTok remain rather secretive but not anymore as pressure mounts on the app, thanks to the introduction of the Digital Services Act.

The EU is paving the way for stringent restrictions upon some of the world’s leading platforms. The major regulatory body has expressed great concern in terms of the spread of misinformation and dangerous content on apps like Facebook and YouTube. But now, it seems to be more worried about TikTok than anyone else.

If you actually look at it, the least transparent amongst the platforms have been TikTok. We’ve seen hardly any research involving it and at the same time, there’s been less criticism surrounding it, most likely because of its younger target niche. At the same time, we’ve seen the app stay in the dark, not providing any tools for researchers for its scrutiny as well.

But now, the EU is asking all apps, including TikTok to open up for scrutiny. This means the hidden algorithms and secret data that was never shared will now be in the public eye. But the Digital Services Act says that it’s all being done in the best interest of users.

The new law hopes to target online harassment and other harms in society that stem from digital means, with great emphasis being made on search engines and social media networks as their main targets.

Earlier drafts for the new law highlighted how social networks must be open to change, especially in regard to their operations. Also, the strictest measures would be employed for those apps with large user bases such as those surpassing the 45 million benchmark. And as you can probably guess by now, TikTok already has more than 100 million users in Europe alone.

As of now, TikTok is failing to answer any questions that are being thrown its way regarding changes that it needs to undergo, thanks to the DSA. But if you look in detail, these changes aren’t small ones.

Think along the lines of putting major restrictions on content that the regulatory body feels serves as a threat. At the same time, we’ll be seeing apps like TikTok provide more cooperation for researchers in terms of opening up their data banks and giving access for evaluation of their systems.

Experts predict this could be major for TikTok as the EU may soon be asking for more paperwork about its working systems to ensure they aren’t in favor of or being biased toward a particular group.

What does this mean for TikTok? Well, we could soon see it hiring plenty of internal researchers to figure out how it operates on a personal level before giving access to its operational network. This will especially be true for TikTok’s moderation system which many feel is highly frustrating and fails to give out too much information about how content is being moderated or filtered.

Lastly, we could see the EU banning ads being directed to minors. Currently, TikTok is sending out ads to users as young as 13 years of age. But many feel what difference will this have on those using TikTok outside of Europe?

What many people aren’t aware of is how the changes may be limited to Europe but the effects will be seen in destinations outside the continent too like the US. After all, many politicians and policymakers would be keen on the benefits being given to EU users in terms of better security or protection.


H/T: Wired

Read next: TikTok Rewards Creators With More Revenue Opportunities Through The Launch Of Its ‘Pulse’ Program

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