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Facebook and Instagram Under Fresh EU Scrutiny for Child Safety Measures

Updated: May 23

Facebook and Instagram, both owned by Meta Platforms, are facing new investigations by the European Union (EU) over concerns that they are failing to adequately protect children online. The EU alleges that the social media platforms are in violation of the bloc's strict digital regulations.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, is particularly concerned about the algorithmic systems used by Facebook and Instagram to recommend content to users, including videos and posts. There are worries that these systems could exploit the vulnerabilities and lack of experience of children, potentially leading to addictive behavior. The commission is also investigating Meta's use of age verification tools to prevent children from accessing inappropriate content on the platforms.


The EU is focused on ensuring that Facebook and Instagram comply with DSA rules, which require a high level of privacy, safety, and security for minors. The commission wants to ensure that young people have safe and age-appropriate experiences online. Meta Platforms has stated that it has developed over 50 tools and policies over the past decade to protect young users and is committed to addressing the concerns raised by the European Commission.


These investigations are the latest in a series of DSA cases that have centered around child protection. Earlier this year, the EU opened separate investigations into TikTok over concerns about the risks it poses to children. European Commissioner Thierry Breton expressed skepticism about Meta's compliance with DSA obligations, particularly regarding the potential negative effects on the physical and mental health of young Europeans using Facebook and Instagram.


This is not the first time that Facebook and Instagram have come under scrutiny under the DSA. They are already being investigated for their handling of foreign disinformation ahead of EU elections. In addition to Meta Platforms, other social media platforms and e-commerce sites, such as X and AliExpress, are also being investigated for their compliance with EU rules.


There is no set deadline for the investigations to conclude, but if violations are found, the companies could face fines of up to 6% of their annual worldwide revenue.

 

- Facebook and Instagram under investigation by the EU for potential violations of child safety regulations

- Concerns raised about algorithmic systems and age verification tools used by the platforms

- EU's Digital Services Act aims to clean up online platforms and protect internet users


Source: AP NEWS

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