Meta Faces New Investigation Over “addictive Effects” on Children - Latest Global News

Meta Faces New Investigation Over “addictive Effects” on Children

The European Union has opened an investigation into Facebook and Instagram over the platforms’ potentially addictive effects on children, following two similar investigations launched into TikTok earlier this year.

Meta-owned platforms are being examined for their addictive and “rabbit hole” effects and whether young users are receiving too much content about depression or unrealistic body images. Investigators will also investigate whether minor children – under the age of 13 – are actually excluded from using the services.

“We are not convinced that Meta has done enough to comply with the DSA [Digital Services Act] Commitments – to reduce the risks of negative impacts on the physical and mental health of young Europeans on its Facebook and Instagram platforms,” Thierry Breton, the EU Internal Market Commissioner who is leading the investigation, said on X.

“We want young people to have safe and age-appropriate online experiences,” said Meta spokeswoman Kirstin MacLeod, adding that the company has developed more than 50 tools and policies to protect young people. “This is a challenge facing the entire industry and we look forward to sharing details of our work with the European Commission.”

The investigations into Meta and TikTok under the new Digital Services Act rules are separate, a commission spokesman said, adding that similarities between the cases merely reflect similarities in how the platforms operate. “There are some competitive effects in the markets where some platforms copy the features of other platforms,” they said.

The impact of social media on children has sparked heated debate in recent months following the book’s publication The fearful generation by Jonathan Haidt. The NYU social psychologist argues that the spread of social media among young people is switching children’s brains, making them more anxious. In October, a coalition of US states sued Meta, saying the company’s products were harmful to children’s mental health.

The Digital Services Act is a comprehensive set of rules aimed at protecting the human rights of Europeans online and came into force for the largest platforms in August last year. So far, the EU has opened investigations against six platforms for different reasons: AliExpress, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, TikTok Lite and X. Under the Digital Services Act, platforms can be fined up to 6 percent of their global turnover.

After the EU opened an investigation into a points-for-view reward system on TikTok Lite – a version of the app that uses less data – the company said It would suspend the incentive because of concerns about its impact on children.

“Our children are not guinea pigs for social media,” Breton said at the time.

Sharing Is Caring:

Leave a Comment