EU threatens TikTok Lite suspension over mental health concerns

TikTok has been given a deadline to provide a risk assessment report and other requested information to avoid the suspension.

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The European Commission has warned TikTok that it may suspend a key feature of TikTok Lite in the European Union on Thursday if the company fails to address concerns regarding its impact on users’ mental health. This action is being taken under the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), which mandates that large online platforms take action against harmful content or face fines of up to 6% of their global annual turnover.

Thierry Breton, the EU industry chief, emphasised the Commission’s readiness to implement interim measures, including suspending TikTok Lite, if TikTok does not provide compelling evidence of the feature’s safety. Breton highlighted concerns about potential addiction generated by TikTok Lite’s reward program.

TikTok has been given a 24-hour deadline to provide a risk assessment report on TikTok Lite to avoid fines and additional requested information by 3 May to avoid penalties. Despite these demands, TikTok still needs to respond to the Commission’s requests for comment.

The TikTok Lite app, recently launched in France and Spain, includes a reward program where users earn points by engaging in specific tasks on the platform. However, TikTok should have submitted a risk assessment report before the app’s launch, as required by the DSA. The Commission remains firm on enforcing regulations to protect users’ well-being amidst the growing influence of digital platforms.