EU Launches Probe into TikTok Lite’s Rewards Program Amid Concerns of Addiction Risks

The European Union started a process against ByteDance’s TikTok and warned to stop its new TikTok Lite rewards program, where users can earn points for liking content or inviting friends.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said TikTok has 24 hours to report about the risks of TikTok Lite or face fines. They also asked TikTok to provide more information by May 3.

The commission is worried that TikTok Lite’s “Task and Reward Program” was started “without properly looking at the risks, especially the risk of getting addicted to the app.”

There are concerns about children being at risk because TikTok might not have good age verification systems.

TikTok assess the risks of its new feature or face fines.
EU demands TikTok assess the risks of its new feature or face fines.

TikTok didn’t comment when CNBC reached out to them on Monday.

This is the second time the EU has taken action against TikTok. In February, they started investigating if TikTok had broken rules about protecting minors, being transparent about ads, and managing risks from addictive design and harmful content.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said, “Under the Digital Services Act, online platforms have to check and handle any risks their users might face. So, the Commission has started a case to make TikTok show how they are protecting their users from risks on their platform.”

“What is TikTok Lite?”

TikTok Lite is a new version of TikTok that was released in France and Spain recently. It’s designed for users who are 18 years and older.

TikTok Lite launched in France and Spain, aimed at users 18 and older.

The app has a rewards program where users can earn points by doing certain things, like watching videos or following creators. These points can then be swapped for rewards, such as gift cards or Amazon vouchers.

According to the EU’s Digital Services Act, companies with over 45 million active users in the EU have to follow strict rules to fight illegal and harmful content on their platforms.

TikTok Lite's rewards could be as harmful and addictive as cigarettes.
EU warns TikTok Lite’s rewards could be as harmful and addictive as cigarettes.

Thierry Breton, the EU industry chief, said that while watching short and fast-paced videos might seem fun, it can also expose children to risks like addiction, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and having a short attention span.

He also mentioned that since the EU’s first case against TikTok is still ongoing, the company has launched TikTok Lite, which rewards users for spending more time on the app. Breton is concerned that TikTok Lite might be just as harmful and addictive as “light” cigarettes.

Breton warned that if TikTok doesn’t prove its safety, the EU could suspend TikTok Lite, which they believe might lead to addiction, using measures under the Digital Services Act.

Jackson Kelley
Jackson Kelley
Jackson is a political activist and market expert. He covers the impact of politics on the market and global economy.
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