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The controversial TikTok Lite application enters the sights of the European Commission

Brussels will not be slow to act.

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The controversial TikTok Lite application enters the sights of the European Commission

Brussels will not be slow to act. A week after the media The Information revealed the launch, in France and Spain, of the TikTok Lite application, the European Commission is demanding accountability from its publisher, the Chinese group ByteDance. The latter has 24 hours to respond to a “request for information” on the risks associated with this new service.

TikTok Lite is in every way similar to the TikTok service, except for one major detail. The more videos they watch, the more tokens the Internet user receives. He is also rewarded if he logs in every day, if he follows content creators, and if he convinces loved ones to download the service. These tokens are then exchangeable for Amazon vouchers. Enough to encourage excessive use of the video application, already accused of monopolizing the attention of adolescents and young adults.

TikTok, like all major social networks, is subject to the Digital Services Act regulation in Europe. Brussels is demanding more information about the risk assessment report the company supposedly carried out before going live with TikTok Lite on the continent. The Commission particularly wants to know more about “the potential impacts of the rewards program on the protection of minors and on the mental health of users, in particular on the potential stimulation of addictive behavior.”

The company has 24 hours to respond to the Commission. “A request for information is an act of inquiry which does not prejudge the action that the Commission might decide to take or not. However, according to Article 74 of the DSA, the Commission may impose fines in the event of communication of incorrect, incomplete or false information,” specifies the institution. TikTok is already under investigation by Brussels for violating the Digital Services Act on the protection of minors or advertising transparency.

The launch of TikTok Lite in France sparked a strong reaction from elected officials, child protection associations, and Secretary of State for Digital Marina Ferrari. “The remuneration mechanism - although capped at one hour and prohibited for minors - is an incontestable deviation, underlined the Secretary of State in a message published on X, and is the opposite of the principles of the digital society that we want to build. »Marina Ferrari had referred this issue to Brussels, which directly regulates TikTok.

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