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TikTok is bringing its devoted STEM feed to Europe

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As TikTok continues to face elevated strain within the U.S. and the U.Okay., the corporate is signaling its dedication to fostering instructional content material on its app. The corporate introduced on Tuesday that it’s increasing its devoted STEM feed throughout Europe, beginning within the U.Okay. and Eire, after first launching it within the U.S. final 12 months.

The STEM feed will start to robotically seem alongside the “For You” and “Following” feeds for customers below the age of 18. Customers above the age of 18 can allow the STEM feed by way of the app’s “content material preferences” settings. The feed contains English-speaking content material with auto-translate subtitles.

TikTok says that since launching the feed within the U.S. final 12 months, 33% of customers have the STEM feed enabled and a 3rd of teenagers go to the STEM feed each week. The app has seen a 24% development in STEM-related content material within the U.S. for the reason that feed launched. Over the previous three years, virtually 15 million STEM-related movies have been revealed on the app globally.

The corporate is increasing its partnerships with Frequent Sense Networks and Poynter to evaluate all the content material showing on the STEM feed. Frequent Sense Networks will look at the content material to make sure it’s acceptable for the STEM feed, whereas Poynter will assess the reliability of the data. Content material that doesn’t go each of those checkpoints won’t be eligible for the STEM feed.

The launch of the STEM feed comes as TikTok has been criticized for displaying dangerous content material to children and youths, with rights teams alleging that the app makes use of addictive design practices to maintain customers engaged for so long as attainable.

In February, the European Union stated it was investigating whether or not TikTok has breached the Digital Providers Act, which incorporates guidelines for maintaining customers protected on-line. The fee is investigating whether or not the app is doing sufficient to cease minors from discovering inappropriate content material and figuring out whether or not its design selections stimulate addictive habits.

With at the moment’s announcement, TikTok is in search of to additional current itself as an academic hub for the thousands and thousands of younger customers on its app as a solution to counter criticisms from lawmakers world wide. The corporate has already used the STEM feed to counter claims that it’s dangerous for younger customers, as TikTok CEO Shou Chew touted the feed whereas testifying in two separate U.S. congressional hearings, one in March 2023 and one in January 2024.

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