Novelty will be exclusive to members of the European Union; Community of countries has passed legislation that will lead to more privacy changes on social networks
TikTok users in Europe will gain an “exclusive” feature: the option to enable or not enable the platform’s algorithm to receive personalized content. The “tool” is the result of the passage of the Digital Services Act (DSA), a new European Union (EU) legislation on digital security and privacy. The DSA is valid for the 27 member countries of the political-economic bloc.
By disabling TikTok’s algorithm-based recommendation function, the social network “unlearns” the user’s taste. In place of videos that the platform understands as “user likes,” For You will display popular videos based on where the person lives and other content from around the world. This information was released by TikTok itself on its press page.
Recently, TikTok launched a tool to reset the algorithm, allowing the user to start “from scratch” the use of the platform and recommendations to be “renewed”.
Algorithm disable tool arrives at the end of August
As revealed by the social network on its website, the feature of “turning off” the algorithm will be released by August 28. The date is the deadline published in the DSA for digital platforms to comply with EU law. However, TikTok hasn’t even given a prediction on when it will actually deliver the feature.
The short-video social network also said that users whose ages are 13 to 17 will no longer receive personalized advertisements, which are based on activities outside the use of the platform.
Remember: TikTok allows its “customers” to turn personalized ads on or off, including the one that tracks their external activities. This option is available in the account settings, in the “Ads” menu.
Other social networks will have to make changes
In addition to TikTok, the social networks of Meta, Google, Twitter/X, Amazon and a dozen other platforms operating in Europe will have to make changes to their services. The main novelty of the Digital Services Act is that these companies will have to be more transparent about their algorithms — and more agile in removing “problematic” content.