TikTok on Friday announced that it is introducing an option for its users in the European Economic Area (EEA) that will allow them to turn off personalization recommendation features, including the “For You” and “LIVE feeds” channels.
The changes were announced on the popular short-video platform as an update to become compliant under the EU’s new Digital Services Act (DSA) ahead of its August 28th deadline.
Under the new DSA, popular platforms like TikTok and other large online platforms are required to offer users the choice to opt out of personalized content when viewing content recommendations. The current “personalized content” that is provided by Internet companies for users is based on tracking, analysis, and profiling of their activities on the platform.
Previously, TikTok would display users’ content based on their personal interests. Once the new changes are introduced, users will be shown popular videos from both the places where they live and around the world rather than suggesting content based on their personal interests.
“When using non-personalised search, they will see results made up of popular content from their region and in their preferred language. Their Following and Friends feeds will continue to show creators they follow, but in chronological order rather than based on the viewer’s profile,” TikTok wrote in a blog post on Friday.
EU users will also have an additional reporting option that will allow users to report content they believe is illegal, including advertising. Users will be able to select from a predefined list of categories, such as hate speech, harassment, and financial crimes, for reporting content.
Under the DSA, TikTok will provide users in the EEA with more information about a “broader range of content moderation decisions.” It will let users know why a video is ineligible for recommendation and sharing.
The social media platform will share more detail about these decisions, including whether the action was taken by automated technology, as well as explain how both content creators and those who file a report can appeal a decision. It will also explain in more depth how its recommendation system works.
Coming to privacy, now users in Europe aged 13-17 will no longer see personalized advertising based on their activities on or off TikTok. Their accounts will be set to private by default, and their content would not be recommended in “For You” feeds.
“Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. We know that ensuring the safety, privacy, and security of our European community is critical to achieving that goal. We will continue to not only meet our regulatory obligations, but also strive to set new standards through innovative solutions and by working with our industry partners, regulators, lawmakers, and civil society,” TikTok concluded in the blog post.