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EU Regulators Warn TikTok that it Needs to Update its Systems in Line with New Laws, or Face a Ban

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EU Regulators Warn TikTok that it Needs to Update its Systems in Line with New Laws, or Face a Ban

Regulatory pressure continues to rise for TikTok, with the EU now warning the app that it will need to adhere with its laws and regulations, or risk being banned from the region entirely.

As you can see in this tweet, EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton met with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew this morning to discuss the app’s obligations in the region, specifically in regard to the protection of young users.

Breton informed Chew that TikTok will come under specific scrutiny when the EU’s new Digital Services Act (DSA) kicks in in September, which includes new provisions for the protection of users, and specifically young users, in regards to content, data usage, and more.

Breton further informed Chew that if the new rules were in place already, TikTok would likely be in violation of them as it stands today.

Breton explained that it is not acceptable that TikTok users can access ‘harmful and sometimes even life-threatening content’ within seconds in the app. If that situation stands, Breton says that TikTok could indeed face a full ban in the EU, adding more pressure to the app to update and evolve its processes in line with developing regional requirements.

TikTok, which is already facing a potential ban in the US over its potential connection to the Chinese Government, says that it’s committed to meeting the requirements of the DSA, as well as Europe’s GDPR, and that it’s on track to improve its systems in line with all requirements.

But it’s another threat to the app’s dominant run in the space, which could potentially see TikTok face restrictions, and even bans, around the world, as more regulators dig deeper into the app’s impact, and linkage to outside influences.

Last month, an investigation found that China-based staff from TikTok’s parent company ByteDance had used the app to spy on American journalists, as part of an initiative to uncover potential leakers within its staff ranks. Which is exactly what various US security officials have warned about – that TikTok, which is under the control of Chinese management, has access to sensitive user data in foreign nations, which could be used, by TikTok or potentially by the CCP, in efforts to monitor and gather information on users.

TikTok has been working to distance itself from this, which includes a multi-million dollar plan to separate US user data from its China-based staff. But thus far, those concerns have not been abated, with a growing number of US states now banning TikTok from official devices, and calls increasing for the White House to take action against the app.

European officials also have their concerns, and with these new laws coming into place, which will push TikTok to implement more measures to stop users stumbling into harmful topic areas, that’ll put even more pressure on the company to update its systems, which will cost more in engineering and manual monitoring to keep the app in line.

But could TikTok really be banned?

Breton himself is developing a habit of making a public show of keeping social platform management in line, but thus far, the EU has not banned any apps for violations of its evolving rules.

That’s not to say it won’t happen, but it does feel like more of a public push to add pressure, than a genuine effort, at this stage, that will threaten the app.

But it’s just one aspect, and there may well be other concerns around TikTok that could result in more regulatory action against the app.

A lot depends on Chinese foreign relations, and how the CCP deals with other nations. Any shift in posture could prompt a re-think of such, which could indeed see TikTok banned in more places in 2023.



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Florida lawmakers push to ban social media for children under 16

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Vietnam plans to ask all social media users on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube to verify their identities

Social media. — © AFP/File Olivier DOULIERY

Florida moved Thursday towards enacting what would be one of the strictest bans on children’s use of social media in the United States after the state Senate passed a bill to keep those under 16 off such platforms.

The controversial bill seeks to protect children’s mental health against the “addictive features” of such platforms, amid fears over online dangers including from sexual predators, cyber bullying and teen suicide.

The legislation, which was approved 23-14, will now go back to the state House. It has already passed there, with the House speaker championing the legislation, but changes made in the Senate need to be approved in the lower chamber.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has expressed concerns over whether banning social media for children under the age of 16 violates parents’ rights – Copyright AFP Philip FONG

It would then have to be signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who has expressed skepticism about the legislation. Similar efforts by other states have previously been blocked by courts.

“We’re talking about businesses that are using addictive features to engage in mass manipulation of our children to cause them harm,” the bill’s sponsor, Republican Erin Grall, told the Florida Senate on Thursday.

But DeSantis, who has previously said he is sympathetic to fears over the impact of social media on children, voiced concerns about parental rights.

“A parent has the right to opt in,” he told a press conference Thursday.

The governor has argued many times that parents should have more control over decisions affecting their children, particularly in education.

Under DeSantis Florida has passed laws to curtail teaching about sex education and gender identity in schools and to eradicate diversity programs in state-funded universities.

Scores of books have been removed from the state’s school library shelves in recent months, deemed inappropriate for children by conservative parents and school boards.

Some critics say such a law targeting social media use would violate the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.

Last year a federal judge blocked an Arkansas initiative that sought to require parental consent to open a social media account.

Most social media networks already have a minimum age of 13 to open an account, though they do little to ensure compliance with the provision.

If the regulation is approved, the platforms will have to block children under the age of 16 from creating accounts and close those already opened.

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Solar Flares Or Sabotage? Internet Theories On Today’s Massive Cell Phone Outage

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Solar Flares Or Sabotage? Internet Theories On Today's Massive Cell Phone Outage

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Massive cell phone outages across America are being reported today by customers of AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Verizon, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Boost Mobile, US Cellular, and Straight Talk Wireless, according to data from Downdetector, an online platform that monitors connectivity. That story and more news you need to read today, inside.

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Meta Expands Access to Instagram’s Creator Marketplace

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Meta Expands Access to Instagram’s Creator Marketplace

Meta has announced that it’s finally expanding access to its Creator Marketplace tool, which will give more businesses the capacity to search for creators to work with on their Instagram campaigns.

Meta first launched its Creator Marketplace back in 2022, enabling U.S.-based brands to search and connect with relevant platform influencers based on a range of qualifiers, including focus topics, follower counts, location, etc.

And now, businesses in the following regions will also be able to access the tool:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • India
  • Brazil

In addition to this, Meta also says that Chinese export brands will also be invited to connect with onboarded creators in countries outside of China.

Which is interesting, considering Meta’s tenuous history with the CCP’s “Great Firewall”, but the deal here relates to Chinese businesses operating in regions outside of their homeland, which is somewhat separate to Meta’s internal dealings.

In addition to expanding access, Meta’s also rolling new machine learning-based recommendations within Creator Marketplace, which will use Instagram data to help brands more easily discover creators who are the best fit for their campaigns.

Instagram Creator Marketplace

As you can see in this example, the new recommendations will highlight accounts that have strong engagement rates in your niche, have mentioned your brand in the past, or have produced good results for similar businesses.

That could make it easier to find the right fit, or at the least, to give you more options to consider in your process.

Branded Content collaborations can be highly effective on IG, by using the established expertise and experience of creators who have already built a following in the app, and know what works, to boost your promotions.

By working with the right creators, with connection to your target audience, you can secure valuable endorsement within key communities, which can help to germinate your branding in the right communities.

Brands can check out Instagram’s creator marketplace in Meta Business Suite, with access coming to these new regions shortly.



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