Facebook and Instagram face fresh EU digital scrutiny over child safety measures

Facebook and Instagram face fresh EU digital scrutiny over child safety measures

Facebook and Instagram face fresh EU digital scrutiny over child safety measures

The European Union opened fresh investigations into Facebook and Instagram over suspicions that they’re failing to protect children online, in violation of the bloc’s strict digital regulations for social media platforms

ByKELVIN CHAN AP business writer

May 16, 2024, 7:35 AM

    LONDON -- The European Union opened fresh investigations Thursday into Facebook and Instagram over suspicions that they're failing to protect children online, in violation of the bloc's strict digital regulations for social media platforms.

    It's the latest round of scrutiny for parent company Meta Platforms under the 27-nation EU's Digital Services Act, a sweeping set of regulations that took effect last year with the goal of cleaning up online platforms and protecting internet users.

    The European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, said it's concerned that the algorithmic systems used by Facebook and Instagram to recommend content like videos and posts could “exploit the weaknesses and inexperience” of children and stimulate “addictive behaviour." It's worried that these systems could reinforce the so-called “rabbit hole” effect that leads users to increasingly disturbing content.

    The commission is also looking into Meta's use of age verification tools to prevent children from accessing Facebook or Instagram, or be shown inappropriate content. The platforms require users to be at least 13 years old to set up an account. It's also looking into whether the company is complying with DSA rules requiring a high level of privacy, safety and security for minors.

    “We want young people to have safe, age-appropriate experiences online and have spent a decade developing more than 50 tools and policies designed to protect them," Meta said in a prepared statement. "This is a challenge the whole industry is facing, and we look forward to sharing details of our work with the European Commission.”

    They're the latest DSA cases to focus on child protection under the DSA, which requires platforms to put in place stringent measures to protect minors. The commission opened two separate investigations earlier this year into TikTok over concerns about risks to kids.

    “We are not convinced that Meta has done enough to comply with the DSA obligations — to mitigate the risks of negative effects to the physical and mental health of young Europeans on its platforms Facebook and Instagram,” European Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a social media post.

    The cases announced Thursday aren't the first for Facebook and Instagram. They're are already being investigated under the DSA over concerns they're not doing enough to stop foreign disinformation ahead of EU elections next month.

    Social media platform X and ecommerce site AliExpress are also being investigated over their compliance with the EU rules.

    There's no deadline for the investigations to wrap up. Violations could result in fines of up to 6% of a company’s annual worldwide revenue.

    Related Topics

    OTHER NEWS

    24 minutes ago

    Peter has been forced to take a drastic measure because of the cost-of-living crisis. He's so ashamed, he doesn't even want his children to know

    24 minutes ago

    Terrifying moment sedan ploughs into traffic sending SUV rolling down a busy motorway

    25 minutes ago

    After China drills, Taiwan president again extends goodwill

    26 minutes ago

    Joburg building ‘hijacker’ killed after exposing Roy Moodley

    26 minutes ago

    City scupper Sundowns’ hopes for ‘Invincibles’ tag

    26 minutes ago

    Russia launches overnight attacks across Ukraine

    26 minutes ago

    Interview: Alex Horne on Taskmaster VR, getting fans involved, and the infinite nature of tasking

    26 minutes ago

    Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs: Soweto bragging rights go to Buccaneers

    26 minutes ago

    Will Chelsea decline Europa Conference League place and who can they face?

    26 minutes ago

    Outdoorswoman sheds light on little-known factor essential to 'leave no trace' practices: 'I've been noticing it more and more every year'

    27 minutes ago

    Nicki Minaj concert postponed after she was detained in Holland over pot

    27 minutes ago

    Hannah Waddingham “Keeps Mental List Of Casting Directors Who Blocked Her Career”

    27 minutes ago

    Hannah Waddingham Reveals She Was Told By Teacher She Had Wrong Face For The Screen

    27 minutes ago

    Sunak’s plan to make 18-year-olds do national service grabs attention on UK election trail

    30 minutes ago

    Paul Weller suits being a grumpy old man – the week’s best albums

    32 minutes ago

    Soccer-Xavi 'proud and calm' after being sacked by Barcelona

    32 minutes ago

    Indianapolis TV news anchor Tanya Spencer dead at 53 after cancer battle

    32 minutes ago

    Who is Eamonn Holmes' first wife and why did they break up after 10 years of marriage? - following his shock split from Ruth Langsford

    32 minutes ago

    Europa League champions Atalanta are 21/10 outsiders to win at home against Torino in the Serie A - while the visitors are 23/20 favourites as they look to stay in the race for Europe

    34 minutes ago

    UK's tallest rollercoaster shuts a day after opening

    34 minutes ago

    Barcelona sing Sweet Caroline after retaining Women’s Champions League title

    35 minutes ago

    Howard Wilkinson: History can smother people at Leeds

    35 minutes ago

    Five bodies retrieved from Papua New Guinea landslide, UN official says

    35 minutes ago

    Sunak’s plan to make 18-year-olds do national service grabs attention on UK election trail

    35 minutes ago

    FA Cup win shouldn’t stop Manchester United sacking Erik ten Hag

    35 minutes ago

    Flash floods due to unusually heavy seasonal rains kill at least 15 in Afghanistan

    36 minutes ago

    Cult Movies: George Lazenby swaps Bond for a royal bomber in 70s martial arts flick A Queen’s Ransom

    36 minutes ago

    Tom Cruise suffers another production setback as his eighth Mission: Impossible film is delayed yet AGAIN after £23m submarine malfunction

    36 minutes ago

    Danish Royal household release new portrait of King Frederik to mark his birthday as monarch

    40 minutes ago

    William and Kate issue statement after RAF pilot killed in Spitfire crash

    40 minutes ago

    Kaizer Chiefs identify prolific African striker to solve their goal-scoring woes?

    40 minutes ago

    These teams qualified for the MTN8: First round matches confirmed

    40 minutes ago

    The CEO behind the world's biggest science and engineering fair says the biggest mistake parents make is putting too much pressure on their kids

    40 minutes ago

    These gym leggings are squat-proof and cost less than £10

    41 minutes ago

    'The cost for us is extending our functionality': Xero CEO details company's costs

    41 minutes ago

    Tales of two emigrants – a novel take on the Irish in America

    41 minutes ago

    More than 670 killed by landslide in Pacific, new local estimates say

    41 minutes ago

    H&M's £25 linen trousers hailed as 'perfect summer staple' by delighted shoppers

    41 minutes ago

    Guardiola congratulates Manchester United after FA Cup defeat

    41 minutes ago

    Erik ten Hag responds to sacking rumours after FA Cup final triumph

    Kênh khám phá trải nghiệm của giới trẻ, thế giới du lịch