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Under pressure from Brussels, TikTok deactivates the controversial mechanisms of its TikTok Lite application

Stop a controversial feature on your own initiative rather than being forced to do so by public authorities.

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Under pressure from Brussels, TikTok deactivates the controversial mechanisms of its TikTok Lite application

Stop a controversial feature on your own initiative rather than being forced to do so by public authorities. This is the path chosen by TikTok a few hours before the end of an ultimatum issued Monday by the European Commission. “We are voluntarily suspending TikTok Lite's reward mechanisms while we address the concerns they have raised,” the company said Wednesday afternoon.

Brussels had threatened to order the suspension of the central mechanism of TikTok Lite on Thursday. Put online on the sly at the beginning of April in France and Spain, this application allows you to collect virtual tokens to exchange for vouchers from partners like Amazon. The more time the Internet user spends watching videos, or the more he convinces his friends to log in each day, the more virtual coins he pockets.

This financialization of screen time represents “a serious risk for the mental health of users,” the European Commission thundered. She had given TikTok until Wednesday evening to defend itself.

“The time of impunity of large platforms and the impotence of authorities is now over: Europe has equipped itself with regulatory tools and it does not hesitate to use them. This is undoubtedly what led TikTok to review its copy,” applauded Marina Ferrari, Secretary of State for Digital.

The reward mechanism will be suspended by TikTok for 60 days. It will disappear from Thursday for new TikTok Lite users, and at the latest by May 1 for all those who had already installed the application. The company also undertakes to stop the launch of TikTok Lite in other European countries. The Commission will ensure that these commitments are followed through.3

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If TikTok shows contrition, this does not signal the end of its troubles with the European Union. “We believe that TikTok did not carry out a mandatory risk assessment, nor take risk mitigation measures before the launch” of TikTok Lite in France and Spain, declares Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton.

Since the end of August, the company has been subject to the Digital Services Act, legislation which requires it, among other things, to assess the dangerousness of the services it operates in Europe. The Commission launched an investigation into this possible infringement on Monday, which remains open. TikTok risks a fine of up to 4% of its annual turnover.

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