July 1, 2022

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Tik Tok to promote EU consumer rights, avoid potential sanctions By Reuters

Tik Tok to promote EU consumer rights, avoid potential sanctions By Reuters

© Reuters. File illustration of the TikTok logo displayed on a smartphone. January 6, 2020 (Reuters) / Dadu Rovich

by Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The bloc’s organizers said on Tuesday that China-owned short video-sharing app TikTok has agreed to boost the rights of European Union users, avoiding potential sanctions in one case stemming from multiple complaints from consumer groups.

The European Consumer Organization (BEUC), in its 2021 complaint, said TikTok failed to protect children from hidden ads and inappropriate content.

The EU executive said the company then held talks with the European Commission and the national network of consumer protection agencies to try to resolve concerns and has now agreed to a number of changes.

This includes the ability for users to report ads and offers that may prompt or trick children into buying goods or services. Brand content will not be allowed to promote inappropriate products and services, while influencers with more than 10,000 followers will have their videos screened by TikTok.

Among other commitments, the company will show how to earn rewards from its platform, and paid ads will be highlighted in videos.

“All social media platforms are obligated to comply with the rules and ensure that commercial content is easily identifiable by consumers, even when it is promoted by influencers,” Didier Reynders, chair of the Commission’s Supreme Court, said in a statement.

However, BEUC said TikTok’s offering has declined in some areas.

“The impact of these commitments on consumers remains highly uncertain. Despite more than a year of dialogue with TikTok, the investigation has been closed, leaving significant concerns we raised unanswered,” BEUC Executive Vice President Ursula Paschel said in a statement. .

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(Reporting by Fu Yun Che; Editing in Spanish by Vicente Valdivia)