French MPs are urging President Emmanuel Macron to impose a ban on TikTok due to concerns about China’s influence on young people. This call comes shortly after the government blamed the platform for fueling widespread riots, causing significant damage and injuries to law enforcement officers. The French Senate Committee of Inquiry released a 183-page report highlighting the health and psychological impact of TikTok’s “extremely addictive algorithm” on French youth. Following an investigation into the app’s alleged data exploitation and propaganda, the report listed 21 recommendations. These recommendations included expanding the ban on TikTok beyond French civil servants to employees in vital sectors such as the military, energy, finance, transportation, and water management. The report also suggested implementing time restrictions for young TikTok users in France, similar to China’s limitations on Douyin, the Chinese mainland version of TikTok. The recent riots in France, sparked by the death of a 17-year-old, have resulted in the detention of over 3,600 people, most of whom are teenagers. President Macron has accused social media, especially TikTok and SnapChat, of playing a significant role in encouraging acts of violence. It has been alleged that many rioters obtained information on obtaining incendiary devices through social media platforms. The violent protests have caused substantial damage and injuries, with over 800 law enforcement officers getting hurt. The senators involved in the report have also demanded transparency from TikTok regarding its shareholding by parent company ByteDance, as well as its “Clover Project” for storing European user data within Europe. They believe that TikTok and ByteDance are heavily dependent on China and lack transparency.

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