TikTok, the popular video-sharing platform, is rolling out its Research API software across Europe, with an eye on the new EU Digital Services Act (DSA) due to come into effect in August.
The Chinese technology conglomerate ByteDance, which owns TikTok, had initially waited for the European Commission to lay out the technical requirements for their data before making the change. However, keen to stay ahead of the game, they decided to go ahead anyway.
“We wanted to make sure we stayed ahead of the DSA compliance deadline,” Robert He, policy lead at TikTok, told reporters. “To that end, we opened up our Research API earlier this year for U.S. academic researchers. Today, we are also allowing researchers access to our commercial content API, and sharing our database of information about paid ads and ad metadata to ensure transparency on paid advertising.”
All researchers will need to have their own TikTok for Developers account, with the API accessible only to researchers located in the United States and Europe.
Speaking to reporters about the new software, Lalitop a researcher from the King’s College London, said, “This is a great step forward in terms of conducting research. It’ll give us access to a huge library of data and content, and the potential for further development. It makes our job much easier and it’s great to see companies such as TikTok proactively taking responsibility for the data they handle.”
The European Commission’s DSA, consisting of 19 online platforms and search engines, has become a wider election issue, with tougher regulations coming into effect for companies within the EU.
“This is an important step in compliance with DSA,” said He. “We want to ensure that the research conducted with data from our platform is ethical and for greater public interest, and this API will make it easier for researchers while ensuring our compliance with the rules.”
TikTok’s new research software is allowing researchers an unprecedented level of access to data and content, allowing new insight into the platform’s reach and the culture of its millions of users.
This ground-breaking software provides an opportunity to develop new research areas and collaborations, and ensure data is used for the greater public interest. All while staying ahead of EU online content rules.
Source: Gadgets 360