EU Investigates TikTok for Violations, as the Digital Services Act Takes Effect

In 2023, the European Union enacted the Digital Services Act (DSA), to govern the digital space, protect the fundamental rights of online users, and fight the spread of illegal content.

The law came into effect at the beginning of 2024, and shortly thereafter, the European Commission announced that it had launched an investigation against TikTok on suspicion of violating the law. The investigation will focus on allegations that the platform employs methods that lead to addiction among young users, exposes minors to harmful and inappropriate content, and fails to implement an age verification system for platform users.

The investigation will focus on the following issues:

  • The platform’s use of the “rabbit hole effect” algorithm, which prompts young users to addictively spend extended periods on the platform.
  • Tools to limit screen time for minors.
  • A reliable age verification system for users.
  • Exposure of underaged users to targeted ads based on their personal information.
  • Default privacy settings to enhance the protection of minors.
  • Proactive measures to keep underaged users away from harmful, inappropriate, and illegal content.

If TikTok is found to have violated the DSA, it could face fines of up to 6% of its global revenue.

Click here to read the European Commission’s press release about the formal proceedings against TikTok under the Digital Services Act.