Romania’s ruling coalition mulls TikTok regulation amid youth right-wing surge

Romania’s ruling coalition mulls TikTok regulation amid youth right-wing surge |

Politicians from Romania’s ruling coalition are proposing either a ban or “strict” regulation of TikTok, prompted by survey data suggesting a growing preference for the far-right among young people, who are particularly active on social media.

TikTok urgently needs to be regulated, especially in this election year, as it has become a platform for extremist messages popular with young people, says liberal MEP Rareş Bogdan.

He is calling for TikTok to adopt similar rules to other major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, suggesting strict vetting and potentially a six months ban on political propaganda.

“If we don’t take extremely serious measures, we might be victims of manipulations”, Bogdan said.

Romașcanu, the spokesperson for the Social Democratic Party (PSD), believes that TikTok should be regulated before the election campaign.

TikTok “will be regulated or closed down,” the Social Democrat said, noting that anti-system or rebellious messages easily resonate with young audiences.

These reactions follow a poll published on Saturday by, Euractiv’s partner, showing that 15% of young people (aged 18-35) surveyed would support the far-right Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR) party in the upcoming elections.

Senator Nicoleta Pauliuc, president of the Liberal Women’s Organisation, has proposed that young people be given weighted access to some Internet applications. However, she points out that general access to TikTok should not be regulated because of the promotion of extremist messages and that only debates should be organised to inform Romanians about the “extremist danger”.

MEP Dragoș Pîslaru (REPER, Renew Europe)  opposes an immediate ban on TikTok during elections, calling it undemocratic and advocating a broader public discourse on the issue.

According to surveys in recent years, TikTok is the main source of information for young people in Romania.

Meanwhile, TikTok officials stress the importance of addressing concerns “based on factual evidence rather than rumours and misunderstandings”.

In February, the European Commission opened formal proceedings against TikTok under the Digital Services Act for possible breaches in several areas, including child protection.

The Digital Services Act (DSA), which came into force on 17 February for all platforms operating in the EU, is a horizontal legislation regulating how online actors should deal with illegal and harmful content.

(Catalina Mihai |

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Romania’s ruling coalition mulls TikTok regulation amid youth right-wing surge |

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