Facebook and Instagram Are Under EU Scrutiny Because of Their Addictive Effects on Children - Latest Global News

Facebook and Instagram Are Under EU Scrutiny Because of Their Addictive Effects on Children

The European Commission has raised concerns that systems used by apps could exploit children’s “weaknesses and inexperience” and encourage “addictive behavior”.

European Union regulators have opened a formal investigation into Meta over possible violations of online content rules related to child safety on its Facebook and Instagram platforms.

The European Commission said on Thursday it was concerned that the algorithmic systems used by popular social media platforms to recommend videos and posts could “exploit the weaknesses and inexperience” of children and encourage “addictive behavior”.

Their investigators will also examine whether these systems reinforce the so-called “rabbit hole,” which leads users to increasingly disturbing content.

“In addition, the Commission is also concerned about the pension protection and verification methods introduced by Meta,” the Union’s executive said in a statement.

The investigation is being conducted under the Digital Services Act (DSA), a law that forces the world’s largest technology companies to step up their efforts to protect European users online.

The DSA has strict rules to protect children and ensure their privacy and safety online.

Thierry Breton, EU Internal Market Commissioner, said on “mitigate” and “Instagram”.

In a statement, Meta said: “We want young people to have safe, age-appropriate online experiences and have spent a decade developing more than 50 tools and guidelines to protect them.”

The US-based tech giant added: “This is a challenge facing the entire industry and we look forward to sharing details of our work with the European Commission.”

There is no deadline for completing the investigation. Violations can result in fines of up to six percent of a platform’s global revenue or even a ban for serious and repeated violations.

Facebook and Instagram are among the 23 “very large” online platforms that must comply with the DSA. Others include Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube.

The bloc has launched a series of investigations, including another last month into Meta, amid concerns that Facebook and Instagram had failed to crack down on disinformation ahead of June’s EU elections.

In February, the Commission opened an investigation into TikTok amid suspicions that the popular video-sharing app may not be doing enough to combat its negative impact on young people.

The EU also forced TikTok in April to suspend the rewards programs of its spin-off app Lite after warning that their “addictive” nature could endanger users’ mental health.

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