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EU's Breton tells TikTok CEO to 'spare no effort' against disinformation

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -TikTok must "spare no effort" to counter the spread of disinformation on the short video sharing app, EU industry chief Thierry Breton told the company's CEO on Monday, as the European Union steps up its efforts to curb the powers of Big Tech.

Breton last month gave TikTok, owned by China's ByteDance, an Oct. 25 deadline to provide information on its crisis response measures and also ordered the company to provide details by Nov. 8 on how it protects the integrity of elections and minors online on its platform.

The European Commissioner pointed to changes on TikTok's platform in the past months with new features to protect users and investments made in content moderation and trust and safety.

"My services and I are now investigating whether this is enough to ensure compliance with the DSA (Digital Services Act)," Breton told Reuters in written comments after a video call with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew.

"Because now more than ever, we must spare no effort to protect our citizens – especially children and teenagers – against illegal content and disinformation," he said.

TikTok Public Policy Director Caroline Greer said in a post on social media platform X that the company was pleased that Breton recognised its compliance efforts.

The DSA requires large online platforms to do more to tackle illegal and harmful online content on their platforms. It is one of a slew of recent EU rules aimed at reining in the power of Big Tech.

Chew is scheduled to meet EU Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Vera Jourova, and EU antitrust head Didier Ryenders in Brussels on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Sharon Singleton)