TikTok has been at the hub of several controversies, especially in the U.S. The Chinese short video app is doing very well and it’s very popular amongst teenagers. However, it is very difficult to control all the content and this is giving cause for concerns. Given that TikTok’s userbase is mainly “children”, The European Consumer Organization (BEUC) has filed a complaint with the European Commission and the European Consumer Protection Agency Network. BEUC urges the EU to investigate the contents of the video-sharing app, TikTok.
BEUC’s allegations include unfair terms in the TikTok virtual goods policy and unfair rights to use user content. Furthermore, the organization also laments potential violations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the display of harmful content to children and young people. This is not the first time that the video-sharing app is facing such an allegation. Previous allegations claim that TikTok is failing to protect children on its platform.
Here are the words of Monique Goyens, Director General of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)
“In just a few years, TikTok has become one of the most popular social media apps with millions of users across Europe. But TikTok is letting its users down by breaching their rights on a massive scale. We have discovered a whole series of consumer rights infringements and therefore filed a complaint against TikTok.
“Children love TikTok but the company fails to keep them protected. We do not want our youngest ones to be exposed to pervasive hidden advertising and unknowingly turned into billboards when they are just trying to have fun.
“Together with our members – consumer groups from across Europe – we urge authorities to take swift action. They must act now to make sure TikTok is a place where consumers, especially children, can enjoy themselves without being deprived of their rights.”
TikTok deletes thousands of accounts yearly for illegal contents
TikTok is currently the most popular app in terms of downloads and revenue. However, the Chinese short video app has been at the hub of several controversies since the beginning of the year. In other to keep its business alive, the app is quite strict with its contents. It also does not waste any time dishing out the maximum penalty – deactivating your account. In October, Douyin (Chinese version of TikTok) announced the penalty for cheating and illegal accounts. From October 1 to October 31, 2020, the Douyin platform has cleared a total of 133,904 videos, 33,028 audios, 1,862 challenges, and permanently blocked 836,100 accounts.
The notice stated that since July this year, Douyin/TikTok has launched a special action to “combine prostitution and pornography“. In October, the Douyin/TikTok Security Center permanently blocked 472,797 pornographic drain and prostitution accounts, and 54,358 fraudulent accounts. If you love pornography, this app is really not the place to be. It will be terrible to build so much fan base only to lose them all because of one porn content. It is better to know the rules and abide by them.