TikTok allows Europe to access research software, with eye on EU online content rules

Short-video app TikTok on Thursday opened up its research software to researchers in Europe ahead of new EU rules requiring Big Tech to do more to police online content.

TikTok, owned by Chinese technology conglomerate ByteDance, is one of 19 online platforms and search engines subject to tougher requirements that will kick in from August under the Digital Services Act (DSA).

The company said it was still waiting for the European Commission to set out technical conditions for the application programming interface (API) for accessing its data but decided to go ahead anyway.

“TikTok is proactively rolling-out its Research API ahead of further technical guidance and launching a commercial content library ahead of the DSA compliance deadline,” the social media app said in a statement.

“All researchers will need to have their own TikTok for Developers account and be located in the United States or Europe to access our Research API.”

The company released an initial version of its Research API to academic researchers in the United States earlier this year.

TikTok on Thursday also allowed researchers access to its commercial content API.

To comply with DSA rules on transparency on paid advertising, the company opened up its database with information about paid ads and ad metadata.

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