EU Launches Investigation Into Meta Over Social Media Addiction Among Children - Latest Global News

EU Launches Investigation Into Meta Over Social Media Addiction Among Children

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Brussels has launched an in-depth investigation into Meta over concerns that the company is not doing enough to protect children from becoming addicted to social media platforms such as Instagram.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said Thursday it would investigate whether the Silicon Valley giant’s apps are exacerbating the “rabbit hole” effect, in which users are drawn ever deeper into online feeds and topics .

EU investigators will also examine whether Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, is complying with legal obligations to provide appropriate age verification tools to prevent children from accessing inappropriate content.

The investigation is the second against the company under EU digital services law. The groundbreaking law aims to police online content and includes sweeping new rules to protect minors.

It also has mechanisms in place to force internet platforms to disclose how they handle misinformation and propaganda.

The DSA, adopted last year, imposes new obligations on very large online platforms with more than 45 million users in the EU. If Meta is found to have broken the law, Brussels can impose fines of up to 6 percent of a company’s annual global turnover.

As an extreme measure to enforce the rules, repeat offenders in the internal market could even face bans.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, said the EU was “not convinced” that Meta “has done enough to comply with DSA commitments and address the risks of negative impacts on the physical and mental health of young Europeans on its platforms Facebook and Instagram to mitigate.” “.

“We spare no effort to protect our children,” Breton added.

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the investigation, the commission said it would focus on whether Meta’s platforms “take appropriate and proportionate measures to ensure a high level of privacy, security and protection for minors.” It added that it places particular emphasis on default privacy settings for children.

Last month, the EU launched the first investigation into Meta under the DSA amid concerns that the social media giant was not properly curbing disinformation from Russia and other countries.

Brussels is particularly concerned about whether the social media company’s platforms properly moderate content from Russian sources that may seek to destabilize upcoming elections across Europe.

Meta defended its moderation practices and said it had appropriate systems in place to stop the spread of disinformation on its platforms.

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