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TikTok latest firm after X and Meta to be warned by EU over Hamas videos

In a recent development, the European Union (EU) has issued a warning to TikTok regarding the spread of disinformation on the platform following Hamas’ attack on Israel. The EU has urged TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, to take immediate action and demonstrate compliance with European law within the next 24 hours. This warning comes after previous warnings were issued to other social media platforms, X (formerly Twitter) and Meta. The EU emphasized the need for TikTok to prioritize the protection of children and teenagers from violent content, terrorist propaganda, and potentially life-threatening challenges. As misinformation about the conflict continues to circulate online, social media platforms face the responsibility of curbing its dissemination.

TikTok latest firm after X and Meta to be warned by EU over Hamas videos

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EU warning to TikTok

The European Union (EU) has issued a warning to TikTok about the spread of disinformation on its platform during the conflict between Hamas and Israel. The EU has called on TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew to take urgent action and ensure compliance with European law. In a letter to Chew, the EU has requested that TikTok provide details within the next 24 hours on how it is addressing the issue of disinformation on its platform.

During the conflict, there has been a surge in misinformation being spread on social media platforms, including TikTok. This misinformation includes doctored images and mislabelled videos that can contribute to the spread of false narratives. The EU has previously warned other social media companies, including X (formerly known as Twitter) and Meta, about similar issues of disinformation. The EU emphasizes that TikTok, in particular, needs to be mindful of its popularity among young people and take steps to protect them from harmful content.

Previous warnings to X and Meta

Before issuing the warning to TikTok, the EU had already warned X and Meta about the spread of disinformation on their platforms. X, in its previous form as Twitter, was given a similar 24-hour deadline to address the issue of disinformation. In response to the warning, X’s CEO Linda Yaccarino informed the EU that the company had removed or flagged tens of thousands of pieces of content related to the conflict. X also took action against hundreds of accounts spreading disinformation.

Similarly, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, was also cautioned by the EU about the presence of disinformation on its platforms. The EU has not commented on Meta’s response to the warning, but it is in ongoing contact with the company’s compliance teams. Meta has established a special operations center with experts who are closely monitoring and responding to the situation. The company is working around the clock to remove content that violates its policies or local law and is coordinating with fact-checkers to limit the spread of misinformation.

TikTok latest firm after X and Meta to be warned by EU over Hamas videos

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Compliance with EU laws

The EU has introduced new laws, known as the Digital Services Act (DSA), to regulate online content. These laws require “very large online platforms” to proactively remove illegal content and demonstrate that they have taken measures to do so when requested. In the context of the warning to TikTok, the EU expects the company to comply with these requirements and promptly remove any illegal content from its platform.

Failure to comply with the DSA can have serious consequences for social media platforms. The EU has the power to conduct interviews and inspections to ensure compliance. If a platform is found to have not complied with the law or address the identified problems, the EU can initiate a formal investigation. As a result, platforms may face hefty fines and, in extreme cases, temporary bans from operating within the EU. These measures are aimed at protecting users and preventing harm caused by disinformation.

EU’s ability to take action

The EU has the authority to take action against social media platforms that do not comply with its laws and regulations. In the case of TikTok, X, and Meta, if they fail to address the issue of disinformation adequately, the EU can impose fines and even temporary bans on these platforms. The EU’s power includes conducting interviews and inspections to assess compliance. Platforms that harm users or fail to address the problem of disinformation can face severe consequences as a result of the EU’s actions.

TikTok latest firm after X and Meta to be warned by EU over Hamas videos

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EU’s position on next steps

While the EU has warned TikTok, X, and Meta about the spread of disinformation, it has not provided specific details on the next steps it will take. The EU is careful not to comment on specific cases but outlines the possible outcomes under the law. The hypothetical scenarios include heavy fines and temporary bans for platforms that do not comply with EU regulations. The EU’s main focus is to ensure the protection of users and mitigate the harm caused by disinformation.

Background on the conflict

The conflict between Hamas and Israel has resulted in a significant amount of misinformation being spread across social media platforms. This misinformation includes doctored images and mislabelled videos, which can contribute to the perpetuation of false narratives. In response to this spread of disinformation, EU Commissioner Thierry Breton demanded action from X, Meta, and TikTok to address the issue and protect users from harmful content.

TikTok latest firm after X and Meta to be warned by EU over Hamas videos

This image is property of ichef.bbci.co.uk.

TikTok’s role in the conflict

TikTok, as a popular social media platform, has a significant influence on young people. Therefore, it has an obligation to protect children and teenagers from violent content, terrorist propaganda, and potentially life-threatening content. The EU emphasizes that TikTok must take proactive measures to prevent the spread of such content and ensure the safety of its users, especially minors.

X’s actions in response

X, formerly known as Twitter, has taken steps to address the issue of disinformation during the conflict. The company has redistributed its resources and refocused internal teams to deal with the content posted on its platform. In response to requests from the EU, X has removed content and added contextual notes to certain posts. These notes provide additional information related to the attacks and unfolding events, helping users understand the context behind the content they encounter on the platform.

TikTok latest firm after X and Meta to be warned by EU over Hamas videos

This image is property of ichef.bbci.co.uk.

Meta’s response and ongoing contact

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has also received a warning from the EU regarding the spread of disinformation. However, there is no public comment available on Meta’s response to the warning. The EU and Meta’s compliance teams are in ongoing contact to address the issues raised. Meta has established a special operations center comprising experts fluent in Hebrew and Arabic to monitor and respond to the situation. The company is working diligently to keep its platforms safe and coordinate with fact-checkers, particularly in the region affected by the conflict, to limit the spread of misinformation.

In conclusion, the EU has issued a warning to TikTok, along with previous warnings to X and Meta, about the spread of disinformation during the conflict between Hamas and Israel. The EU emphasizes the need for compliance with European law and calls on these platforms to take urgent action to protect users, particularly children and teenagers. Failure to comply with EU regulations can result in severe consequences, including fines and temporary bans from operating within the EU. The EU’s priority is to ensure the safety of users and prevent the harmful effects of disinformation.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-67066871?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA