European Commission opens formal investigation into Meta

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Digital Services Act violations could lead to fines of 6% of global turnover


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The European Commission has opened a formal investigation into Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. The Commission is concerned that both platforms are not doing enough to protect the physical and mental health of children and young people.

This investigation is an important step in enforcing new rules under the Digital Services Act (DSA). The DSA places strict requirements on online platforms to protect users, especially young people, from illegal content, hate speech and disinformation.

According to the Commission, there are several reasons to suspect that Meta is not in compliance with DSA obligations.



Five areas Europe believes Meta is failing users

Addictive effects

The Commission is concerned that Facebook and Instagram’s design and algorithms may encourage addictive behaviour in young people. This could lead to mental health problems and decreased well-being.

‘Rabbit hole’ effect

The use of algorithms on the platforms delivers ever more extreme and one-sided content. This can lead to radicalisation and a distorted worldview.

Exposure to inappropriate content

Despite measures taken by Meta, young people would still have easy access to inappropriate content, such as violent or sexually explicit images.

Insufficient privacy protection

The Commission believes Meta needs to do more to protect young people’s privacy. This includes securing their personal data and limiting tracking.

Inadequate age verification

Current systems for verifying the age of users are allegedly not sufficiently robust. As a result, young people can easily impersonate adults and access inappropriate content.

Meta has already taken several steps recently to improve online safety for young people. For example, new systems were introduced to stop the spread of nude photos and access to harmful topics is being restricted. However, the Commission will now assess whether these measures are sufficient to meet the strict requirements of the DSA.

If the Commission’s investigation concludes that Meta was indeed at fault, the company could face fines of up to 6% of its annual global turnover and may impose additional coercive measures such as removing illegal content or blocking access to its platforms in Europe.

News Wires

Read More: Digital Services Act European Commission Facebook Instagram law Meta

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