Tiktok risks being banned in the EU if it does not censor content, an official from the bloc has warned.
Thierry Breton, the EU’s censorship-loving single market commissioner, has threatened to see Chinese social media platform TikTok banned from the bloc if it fails to censor content he and his colleagues see as problematic.
It comes after Breton repeatedly threatened Twitter with a similar fate if the platform’s new CEO, Elon Musk, fails to comply with EU censorship standards.
According to a Reuters report, Breton made the threat during a video call with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, warning that the Chinese social media platform must comply with all rules outlined in the EU’s new Digital Services Act (DSA) or face the consequences.
“We will not hesitate to apply the full range of sanctions to protect our citizens if audits do not show full compliance,” Breton warned.
With a younger audience comes greater responsibility.
As a platform that reaches millions of young Europeans, #TikTok must fully comply with EU legislation, in particular #DSA.
I asked TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew to demonstrate, as soon as possible, not only efforts, but also results. pic.twitter.com/3B8yGaIQp2
— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) 19 January 2023
The official later added Twitter to reiterate his demands, stressing that TikTok’s ability to attract “younger audiences” comes with “greater liability” for censorship.
“As a platform that reaches millions of young Europeans, [TikTok] must fully comply with EU legislation, in particular [DSA],” he wrote. “I asked TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew to demonstrate, as soon as possible, not only efforts, but also results.”
The European Union is far from the first international power in the world to consider banning TikTok, and both Democrats and Republicans in the United States have now repeatedly considered leveling both partial and full bans on the platform, which has links to the Chinese government.
The US House of Representatives on Tuesday began banning the use of TikTok from house-ruled devices due to “high-risk” “security” concerns. https://t.co/S8hK94z3sw
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) 27 December 2022
While any ban in the US appears to be inspired by data security concerns, as well as fears about the anti-American bias of content on the platform, the EU threat of a ban comes from the notion that the Chinese platform is not doing enough for to censor the user base.
Tiktok is also not the first platform to be threatened with such a ban, and Elon Musk’s Twitter has also been on the receiving end of similar warnings throughout last year.
Such threats that the platform could be forcibly removed from the EU appeared to be a response to Musk’s desire to see the platform stop censoring political dissidents, and instead allow a much wider range of speech to exist on the platform.
This angered many in the EU, with Breton repeatedly attacking Musk’s free speech plan.
Such threats appear to have been sufficient to neutralize Musk as a threat to the bloc, and the CEO has now repeatedly weighed in on the union’s demands that certain speech be censored on all online platforms, including Twitter.
“Elon Musk agreed” with German minister on EU censorship plan – claim https://t.co/HoJvuyPWXv
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) 5 January 2023