Italy Fines TikTok $11M for Minor Protection Failure


Italy’s competition authority has fined TikTok €10 million ($11 million) for inadequate control over content that posed risks to minors and other vulnerable individuals.

The antitrust agency, AGCM, highlighted TikTok’s failure to address the specific vulnerabilities of adolescent users, such as susceptibility to group behavior replication. This comes after an investigation launched in March into TikTok’s content moderation practices.

According to AGCM, TikTok’s algorithms facilitated the systematic re-proposal of harmful content to users, citing examples like the “French scar” trend, where users would pinch their cheeks to create lasting bruises.

TikTok responded, stating that it disagreed with AGCM’s decision and had already restricted visibility of such content to users under 18.

This fine adds to TikTok’s ongoing challenges in Europe. The platform was recently ordered by the Irish Data Protection Commission to pay a hefty fine of €345 million ($376 million) for failing to protect children’s privacy.

Moreover, the EU launched a formal investigation into TikTok’s measures to safeguard minors, questioning the effectiveness of its age verification tools.

TikTok is also facing scrutiny in the United States, where lawmakers passed a bill potentially banning the platform unless it is divested from ByteDance and sold to a US company. This legislation is driven by concerns about national security risks associated with Chinese ownership of user data.

In China, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry criticized the potential ban as an “act of bullying.” Meanwhile, another Chinese-owned platform, AliExpress, is under investigation by the EU for alleged breaches of regulations, including illegal content dissemination and minors’ access to inappropriate material.

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Piyush Banerjee
Piyush Banerjee
Piyush Banerjee is an author and a passionate connoisseur of the world of media. With an appetite for knowledge and an insatiable curiosity, Piyush's writing delves into Films, Technology, and Global Affairs. Piyush has an innate love for storytelling, and has a fiction novel available on Amazon. He has been interested in Storify News for several years and is excited to make news more accessible and interesting to consume.

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