Oct. 12 (UPI) — The European Union on Thursday warned TikTok about moderating its content for disinformation as part of an ongoing crackdown in response to the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner handling the newly created Digital Service Act for its member states sent a letter to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew citing the specific requirement about content moderation around disinformation and warned the platform could be responsible for fines and penalties if they don’t comply.
“Given that your platform is extensively used by children and teenagers, you have a particular obligation to protect them from violent content depicting hostage-taking and other and other graphic videos which are reportedly widely circulating on your platform, without appropriate safeguards,” Breton wrote.
Breton said manipulated videos have been showing up on TikTok in relation to the festival that was attacked by Hamas and other incidents that are already violating the EU law.
He warned that TikTok must put in place “appropriate and proportionate measures to guarantee a high level of privacy, safety and security.”
“I therefore invite you to urgently step up your efforts and ensure your systems are effective, and report on the crisis measures taken to my team,” he wrote.
Earlier this week, the European Union threatened Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg with fines if their social media companies — X, formerly Twitter, and Meta’s Facebook and Instagram — did not take stronger action to get rid of disinformation about the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. He stressed it was the platform’s responsibility to police their own sites.
X CEO Linda Yaccarino responded to Breton’s letter, saying that its internal teams were”actively working” to address “operational needs” and had taken down more than 80 posts that had slipped through their cracks when they were informed by law enforcement.