European Commissioner for Internal Market. French Thierry Breton, delivers a speech during an informal ministerial meeting in Seville, Spain, 07 November 2023. EPA-EFE/Jose Manuel Vidal


YouTube, TikTok face EU requests for details on measures protecting minors


Google’s YouTube and TikTok will be asked by EU industry chief Thierry Breton to explain how they protect children from illegal and harmful content on their platforms in line with new EU rules, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

The move by Breton comes three days after he told TikTok Chief Executive Officer Shou Zi Chew to spare no effort to counter disinformation on its platform, owned by China’s ByteDance.

Breton will send his requests for information to the companies on Thursday, the source said.

Breton last month had set a November eight deadline for TikTok to provide details on how it protects the integrity of elections and minors on its platform.

He had in the same month also reminded Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai of the company’s obligation to protect children and teenagers using his platforms in the EU from violent content depicting hostage-taking and other graphic videos.

The new EU rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) require Big Tech to do more to fight harmful and illegal online content, especially content that targets minors.

The DSA also forces the companies to be more transparent on their algorithmic processes, bots and targeted advertisements that amplify content and do more to tackle illegal, unsafe, or counterfeit products sold on their platforms.

Companies face fines as much as six per cent of their global turnover for DSA violations.