EU Investigates Meta’s Facebook and Instagram Services for Minors’ Protection

The European Commission has launched formal investigations into Meta (formerly Facebook) and its subsidiary Instagram to assess whether they comply with the Digital Services Act (DSA) regarding the protection of minors. The DSA, which came into effect last year, requires major online platforms to address illegal content and manage risks associated with their use by minors.

The Commission’s concerns focus on several aspects:

  1. Algorithmic Influence: Officials worry that Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms may encourage addictive behaviour in children.
  2. Rabbit-Hole Effects: The investigation will examine whether users are inundated with similar content, potentially leading to harmful effects.
  3. Age Verification and Privacy Settings: The platforms’ age-verification tools and privacy settings for minors are also under scrutiny.

Met emphasises its commitment to providing safe online experiences for young people. The company claims to have spent a decade developing tools and policies to protect minors. However, the EU remains sceptical, citing concerns about compliance with the law.

Last year, a coalition of U.S. states filed lawsuits against Meta, alleging that its intentionally addictive features harmed young users. Meta responded by emphasising its efforts to support youth on its platforms.

EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton expressed doubt about Meta’s compliance, stating, “We are not convinced that Meta has done enough.” The investigation could lead to fines of up to 6% of Meta’s global annual revenue, although it doesn’t guarantee rule violations or sanctions.

This Meta investigation is part of a series of probes initiated under the DSA. Previously, the EU investigated ByteDance’s TikTok, Elon Musk’s X, and Alibaba’s online shopping platform, AliExpress.

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Author: Federica Montella
eToro Popular Investor, food lover and blogger. Stock trader and Popular Investor at eToro. I am on a mission to find the best restaurants and food to eat.