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Tags: eu | european commission | meta | children | addiction | facebook | privacy

EU Launches Probe of Meta Over Addictive Effects on Children

By    |   Thursday, 16 May 2024 07:11 PM EDT

The European Union (EU) has launched an investigation of Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta, over the platforms' potentially addictive effects on children.

On Thursday, the European Commission, the EU's executive body, announced it has opened "formal proceedings" against Meta to determine whether it violated the protections for children in the Digital Services Act (DSA).

"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 for Internal Market Thierry Breton said in a statement.

"We will now investigate in-depth the potential addictive and 'rabbit hole' effects of the platforms, the effectiveness of their age verification tools, and the level of privacy afforded to minors in the functioning of recommender systems," he added. "We are sparing no effort to protect our children."

In a press release, the commission said the design of the Facebook and Instagram platforms "may exploit the weaknesses and inexperience of minors and cause addictive behaviour."

The panel is also examining Meta's age-verification tools to ensure they are "reasonable, proportionate and effective," as well as the measures it has put in place to "ensure a high level of privacy, safety and security for minors."

According to the release, the commission had opened an investigation into Meta in April over "deceptive advertising, political content, notice and action mechanisms, [and] data access for researchers, as well as on the non-availability of an effective third-party real-time civic discourse and election-monitoring tool ahead of the European Parliament elections."

The tech giant said in a statement obtained by The Hill that is has spent "a decade developing more than 50 tools, features and resources" to protect young people on its platforms.

"This is a challenge the whole industry is facing, which is why we're continuing to advance industry-wide solutions to age-assurance that are applied to all apps teens access," a Meta spokesperson said. "We look forward to sharing details of our work with the European Commission."

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The European Union (EU) has launched an investigation of Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta, over the platforms' potentially addictive effects on children.
eu, european commission, meta, children, addiction, facebook, privacy, digital services act
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2024-11-16
Thursday, 16 May 2024 07:11 PM
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