Czech TV maintains TikTok presence amid security risks

Czech national cyber authority says TikTok is a security risk.
Czech national cyber authority says TikTok is a security risk. Photo: Midjourney AI

The National Cyber and Information Security Agency warned earlier this year that the TikTok app posed a security risk. In response, Czech Radio suspended the profiles of Radio Wave and the news website iRozhlas. Czech Television, however, took a more measured approach, conducting an internal analysis before making any decisions. The broadcaster has decided to maintain its presence on TikTok.

"Public service providers across the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) have varied stances on this issue," said Denisa Kollárová, marketing director at Czech Television. The broadcaster has taken steps to secure its internal systems and has restricted the internal use of TikTok. For the time being, TikTok remains an irreplaceable marketing platform for its online service iVysílání.

Czech Television has banned TikTok on company devices but continues to manage its profile using isolated devices. The official profile boasts over 65,000 followers and has accumulated more than 1.6 million likes. Individual videos often garner tens of thousands of views, sometimes reaching into the hundreds of thousands.

According to Kollárová, the primary goal is to entertain and build relationships with a younger audience. She stated that 75% of TikTok users in the Czech Republic are between 18 and 34 years old, making it a key platform for reaching this demographic.

Some members of the Czech Television Council have expressed concerns. Tomáš Řehák, a member of the oversight body, argues that the broadcaster's presence on TikTok could downplay the security risks flagged by state security agencies.

Kollárová responded by saying that the discussions around TikTok are ongoing. She also mentioned that Instagram could be an alternative, but it doesn't have the same reach among younger people as TikTok.

Private broadcasters like TV Prima and TV Nova are also active on TikTok, with profiles boasting substantial follower counts and millions of likes. Both are using the platform for news dissemination as well.

Public news channel ČT24 has suspended its TikTok profile, according to Kollárová. Meanwhile, Czech Radio is reconsidering its stance on using the platform, according to General Director René Zavoral.

In neighbouring countries, public broadcasters such as Germany's ARD and Austria's ORF also maintain an active presence on TikTok. The tendency to completely discontinue profiles on the platform is unusual worldwide.

You may also like: