TikTok deprograms its addiction in the EU

The EU wants to take the Tok down a few notches

Together with

The Future. To comply with the EU’s recently passed Digital Services Act, TikTok is giving users in the region the ability to control their personalization algorithm. The hope is the choice empowers users to make TikTok less addictive and protects them from unwanted data collection. But if a majority of EU users decide not to opt out of the algorithm, it may mean the app’s ability to know its users is what’s attractive about the platform in the first place.

The overhaul of TikTok’s For You Page may open the door to a less addictive scroll.

  • TikTok is letting EU users opt out of its personalization algorithm, with their FYP featuring popular videos in the area and from people they follow instead.
  • This has led users in other regions, like the UK, to ask the company for similar features.
  • But the company has no plans to expand the feature (unless compelled by law), citing users can filter their algorithms with keywords and the “not interested” button.

However, some organizations believe, since TikTok already has the capability, it doesn’t make sense to not just offer it to everybody. The Center for Countering Digital Hate found teenagers are often fed content about self-harm and eating disorders on their FYP.

TikTok has tried to escape criticism by showing users why things show up on their FYP. But it’s possible a simple explanation won’t be enough for people when control is finally possible… that is, if users are concerned about “cognitive liberty” to begin with.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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