TikTok, the popular social media platform, has announced that it will let users in the European Economic Area (EEA) disable their For You and LIVE feeds. The changes were announced as part of a package of changes the company is making to get in line with the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA).
The DSA targets a group of Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and a few Very Large Online Search Engines (VLOSEs). The list includes Alibaba AliExpress, Amazon Store, Apple AppStore, Booking.com, Facebook, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, Zalando, Bing, and Google Search.
The act aims to deliver more user empowerment, strong protections for minors, more diligent content moderation and less disinformation, and more transparency and accountability. Users who decide to switch off the For You feed will instead be shown a feed based on popular content in their region rather than recommendations based on personal interests.
Other measures that TikTok is planning to get in line with the DSA include:
- Additional reporting options to flag illegal content, including advertising, users will be able to include specific categories in their reports such as hate speech, harassment, and financial crimes
- TikTok will provide users in the EEA with more information about content moderation decisions, including letting users know why their content is ineligible for recommendation and sharing
- TikTok will explain in more depth how its recommendation system works
- Personalized advertising for teens between 13 and 17 will be disabled for those in the EEA, their accounts will be set to private by default, and their content won’t be recommended in For You feeds
The changes that TikTok is proposing sound like a positive step for its users. The other companies that have been named by the EU will also have to follow the same rules so it’ll be interesting to see what they come up with.