TikTok’s Behind The Scenes: Could the platform be banned from Europe?

7 June 2024

TikTok, one of the most famous social networks globally, has faced several legal and regulatory obstacles that have resulted in it being banned in several countries. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind the bans, the consequences for users and content creators, and also discuss the platform’s future prospects in Europe and Portugal.

TikTok: An Overview of the Platform

Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has experienced exponential growth, becoming one of the most popular social media in the world. The platform is especially loved by young people, who use it to express their creativity and connect with other users. TikTok has not only changed the way people consume digital content, but also how they interact with it.

The platform stands out for its ability to interrelate through dance challenges, dubbing and other interactive content. The ‘For You Page’ (FYP) feature uses advanced algorithms to personalize each user’s feed, based on their interests and previous interactions, making its use addictive and completely suited to each person’s needs.

Challenges To Face

Privacy and data security concerns 

Concern over user data’s privacy and security is one of the main reasons why TikTok is banned in several countries. The platform collects a large amount of personal information and has therefore been questioned about how it protects this data and prevents improper access.

Political influence and disinformation

TikTok is also facing criticism for its influence on politics and the spread of so-called “fake news”, as can be seen in various newspaper reports, or even on the website of Capitol Technology University. The platform’s ability to reach millions of people quickly makes it a fertile ground for spreading disinformation, which has worried governments around the world.

Geopolitical and commercial pressure

Geopolitical and commercial pressure also play a significant role in TikTok restrictions. The dispute between countries for technological and commercial supremacy often results in restrictions on companies seen as threats or as tools of global influence. TikTok, as a company of Chinese origin, often finds itself at the centre of these tensions.

Impacts of the Restriction on Users and Content Creators

Effects on the content creators’ community

TikTok’s restrictions have a significant impact on the content creators’ community, better known as influencers. Many depend on the platform to promote their work and generate profitability. With these exclusions, opportunities for collaboration and professional growth are lost, forcing many to look for less effective alternatives.

Alternatives and user adaptations

Faced with restrictions, TikTok users have to adapt quickly. Many have already started migrating to other platforms, such as Instagram or YouTube, while others are waiting for solutions that can bypass the restrictions. This transition may be challenging, especially for those who are unfamiliar with other interfaces and functionalities, or who produce their content solely to work with the TikTok algorithm.

Impact on the digital entertainment industry

TikTok’s restrictions affect not just individuals, but the entire digital entertainment industry. Companies that relied on the platform for marketing campaigns have been forced to rethink their strategies. This scenario creates a wave of uncertainty and could lead to a re-evaluation of digital marketing practices on a large scale.

TikTok’s situation in Europe and Portugal

TikTok’s current legal status in Europe

TikTok, as one of the most popular media platforms, is facing intense regulatory scrutiny in Europe, as can be seen from the formal proceedings that the European Commission has imposed against the tool. The social network is under constant evaluation when it comes to complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is crucial for operating in European Union countries. Compliance with these standards is essential to continuing to operate in Europe.

Discussions and perspectives in Portugal

In Portugal, the debate about TikTok centres on online security and the protection of user data. The platform has invested in improving its security policies and tools to ensure Portuguese trust. The discussion is wide-ranging and involves both government entities and the public, reflecting concern about the privacy and integrity of the information that is spread on it.

Potential future scenarios

Looking ahead, various scenarios could unfold depending on regulatory decisions and TikTok’s response. The platform could face anything from minor adjustments to its policies, to the possibility of more severe restrictions or even total exclusion. These changes will depend on political and social dynamics, both at European and global level.



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