TikTok Lite Faces Legal Scrutiny in the EU

tiktok lite app on phone with tiktok logos in the background
TikTok Lite Mehaniq/Shutterstock Anna Konchits/Shutterstock Remix by Caterina Rose

TikTok’s legal troubles just keep coming. As the fight to ban the app in America rages on, the European Union (EU) has opened its own legal proceedings against the company. The claim? That the new TikTok Lite rewards program is potentially violating EU law. 

The problem, the Commission argues, is that TikTok didn’t submit a risk assessment for the TikTok Lite rewards feature. The Commission explained in a press release that they were concerned about the feature’s potentially addictive qualities. Especially for young people.

“Unless TikTok provides compelling proof of safety — which it failed to do until now — we stand ready to trigger DSA interim measures, including the suspension of the TikTok Lite reward programme,” European Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a post on X.

What is TikTok Lite?

TikTok launched TikTok Lite in April 2024 in France and Spain. It is a rewards program app that essentially pays users to watch and engage with TikTok. For every video and comment, users earn ‘points,’ which they can trade in for gift cards and vouchers.

(TikTok Lite is also the name of a streamlined version of the app that takes up less storage space on user devices. TikTok may rename one of these apps, according to the Information, due to the confusion between the two.)

But the Commission is concerned about a “lack of effective age verification mechanisms” in the TikTok Lite rewards program.

“Endless streams of short and fast-paced videos could be seen as fun, but also expose our children to risks of addiction, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, low attention spans,” Breton adds. “We suspect TikTok ‘Lite’ could be as toxic and addictive as cigarettes ‘light.’” 

What has TikTok said about this?

In a statement issued to the BBC, a spokesperson for TikTok said: “We are disappointed with this decision. The TikTok Lite rewards hub is not available to under 18s, and there is a daily limit on video watch tasks. We will continue discussions with the Commission.”

TikTok has until today to submit a risk assessment to the Commission.

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