TikTok is introducing significant modifications for its European Union users, in an effort to comply with the August 28th Digital Services Act (DSA) deadline set by the region’s regulatory bodies. Among the most notable alterations is the option for users to choose if they wish to have their For You Page (FYP) personalized by algorithms. The company declared that shortly, users in this region could opt-out of personalization. If they choose this option, their FYP will feature popular videos from their locale and across the globe, rather than content specifically tailored to their preferences.
When users conduct searches on any particular topic, the results will consist of trending videos in their area and content in their chosen language. Users can still navigate to their ‘Following’ and ‘Friends’ feeds to view posts from individuals they follow. However, these feeds will now display posts in chronological order, as opposed to being profile-based. The DSA mandates that “providers of very large online platforms”, including TikTok, should enable users to have access to “alternative options which are not based on profiling” within their “recommender systems”. This essentially implies that they should provide a mode that curates content for users without relying on their personal data.
TechCrunch points out that this is a monumental shift for TikTok, as its success is primarily attributed to the algorithm that operates its For You Page. The continuous stream of videos specifically directed at individual users is what makes the app incredibly engaging.
In conjunction with offering an alternative FYP, TikTok is also launching an extra reporting option for European users for content they feel is inappropriate for the platform. If upon review, the platform finds that the content doesn’t violate its general guidelines, a dedicated moderation team will reassess it to determine if it contravenes local laws. TikTok can then limit the access to the reported video within the country or region where it was reported.
Furthermore, TikTok will start providing more comprehensive information about its content moderation decisions to European users, such as the reasons behind not recommending posts containing false information. Lastly, TikTok declared that it will cease to deliver personalized advertisements to European users aged 13 to 17, based on their actions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about TikTok Personalization Opt-out
What changes are TikTok making for European users?
TikTok is introducing several major modifications for its European users to comply with the Digital Services Act (DSA). Users will now have the option to choose whether their For You Page (FYP) is personalized by algorithms or not. If they opt-out of personalization, their FYP will display popular videos from their locale and across the globe, instead of content tailored specifically for them.
Is TikTok changing the way content is displayed on the platform?
Yes, TikTok is changing the way content is displayed for its European users. While users can still view posts from individuals they follow on their ‘Following’ and ‘Friends’ feeds, these feeds will now present posts in chronological order, rather than being based on their profile.
Is TikTok providing any new reporting options for inappropriate content?
Yes, TikTok is launching an additional reporting option for European users for content they believe is inappropriate for the platform. If the platform finds that the content doesn’t violate its general guidelines upon review, a dedicated moderation team will reassess it to see if it contravenes local laws.
Will TikTok provide more information about its content moderation decisions to European users?
Yes, TikTok will start offering more detailed information about its content moderation decisions to European users. They will explain why certain posts, such as those containing false information, are not recommended.
Is TikTok changing its advertising rules for younger users in Europe?
Yes, TikTok has announced that it will stop serving personalized ads to European users aged between 13 to 17 based on their activities on the platform.