EU Probes Meta for Child Safety, Risks Massive Fines Under DSA

May 17, 2024
EU Probes Meta for Child Safety, Risks Massive Fines Under DSA
  • The European Commission has initiated a formal investigation into Meta's Facebook and Instagram for potentially endangering child welfare by promoting addictive behaviors and risking adolescent mental health.

  • This is the sixth formal probe by the Commission and the second aimed at Meta, now scrutinized under the Digital Services Act which came into effect last August, granting EU regulators enhanced enforcement powers.

  • Meta is suspected of not adequately assessing and mitigating risks to children, with particular focus on addictive design features and the algorithmic recommendation 'rabbit hole effect' that could promote harmful content such as depression and negative body image.

  • The EU is investigating potential violations of the Digital Services Act, specifically Articles 28, 34, and 35, regarding child protection on Meta's platforms, with possible sanctions including fines up to 6% of Meta's annual global turnover and temporary service bans.

  • Meta's stock price dropped following the announcement, but the company has refuted the claims and expressed its dedication to child safety online, including plans to enhance safeguards with AI to prevent the spread of inappropriate content.

  • The EU's actions underscore its resolve to enforce regulations that protect citizens in the digital realm and maintain a competitive, innovative market environment.

Summary based on 31 sources

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