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EU tells TikTok to 'spare no effort' to fight disinformation

BRUSSELS: The EU’s top tech enforcer told TikTok’s CEO on Monday (Nov 6) to “spare no effort” to counter disinformation, but recognised the changes already made by the video-sharing platform.

The Chinese-owned app favoured by younger online users is one of 19 platforms that face stricter rules on tackling illegal and harmful content online under a landmark EU law.

“We have seen changes on TikTok’s platform in the past months, with new features being released with the aim to protect users and investments made in content moderation and trust and safety,” Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, said, after a video call with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew.

TikTok said it pulled four million “violative” videos in the European Union in September, in its first transparency report since the Digital Services Act (DSA) came into force across the bloc.

Under the DSA, all major platforms must publish a transparency report every six months.

Breton said the European Commission was investigating whether TikTok had done enough to be compliant with the DSA, after opening a probe last month.

“Now more than ever, we must spare no effort to protect our citizens – especially children and teenagers – against illegal content and disinformation,” he added.

Theo Bertram, TikTok’s vice president for public policy in Europe, said Breton and Chew had a “positive discussion on TikTok’s progress” on the DSA.

“We’re encouraged that our efforts have not gone unnoticed. We continue to engage closely with the Commission on DSA compliance,” Bertram said in a social media post.

“Pleased that TikTok’s efforts to comply with the DSA and keep our community safe are being recognised,” said Caroline Greer, TikTok’s director of public policy.

Chew will meet on Tuesday with EU commissioners Vera Jourova and Didier Reynders in Brussels to discuss issues including data protection and Brussels’ tough new curbs on big tech’s market power.

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