Does TikTok offer a loyalty program that is dangerous to your health? The European Commission intervenes

Luc Williams

The TikTok Lite program, which launched in France and Spain last month, is a new app with a feature aimed at users aged 18+ called the “task and feedback program.” It allows users to earn points by completing certain “tasks” on TikTok, such as watching videos, retweeting content, following creators, and inviting friends to use the site.

New features may stimulate addictive behaviors

As the European Commission said on Monday, the problem is that the new program was launched without prior careful assessment of the risks involved, in particular the risks related to the addictive effects of the program, and without adopting appropriate measures to prevent these risks.

According to the EC, “this is particularly concerning for children, given the suspected lack of effective age verification mechanisms on TikTok.” As EU officials explain, the idea is that the new features may stimulate addictive behavior, because in order to gain additional points in the program, the user will use the platform more and more intensively, which may have a negative impact on his mental health.

The EC may call on the company to suspend the Tiktok Lite program

Due to the doubts described above, the European Commission decided to initiate proceedings against TikTok. The initiation of formal proceedings does not determine its outcome, but if the infringements are proven and it turns out that TikTok has violated EU digital regulations, the EC may call on the company to suspend the Tiktok Lite program. If TikTok does not cooperate with the Commission also during the proceedings, it may impose a fine of up to 6% on the platform. its total annual global turnover.

This is the second case of this type brought against the platform by the European Commission under the EU Digital Services Act (DSA). It imposes additional obligations on very large online platforms and search engines, with more than 45 million active users in the EU, including assessing possible risks related to the services they provide and taking appropriate actions to eliminate any potential threats.

TikTok (and others) have long been in the European Commission's crosshairs

In February 2024, the Commission opened the first formal proceedings against TikTok to assess whether it may have breached the Digital Services Act in areas related to the protection of minors, advertising transparency, researchers' access to data, as well as risk management related to addictive design and harmful content . The investigation is ongoing.

There are currently two other formal proceedings under the Digital Services Act: one against the website X (formerly Twitter) and the other against the e-commerce platform AliExpress.


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