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European Commission investigates Meta over child protection concerns

Published May 16,2024

The European Commission announced on Thursday that it has opened investigations into Meta over child protection concerns regarding its Facebook and Instagram platforms.

The investigations concern fears the two platforms "may exploit the weaknesses and inexperience of minors and cause addictive behaviour," according to a commission press release. Another concern is "rabbit hole" effects that "draw you in to more and more disturbing content," a commission official said. The EU executive is also concerned about minors' access to "inappropriate" content, as well as privacy.

The two probes into Facebook and Instagram, respectively, fall under the European Union's Digital Services Act (DSA), which requires large platforms to mitigate various risks, especially for children.

Meta could face fines of up to 6% of its global annual revenue if it is found to have broken these rules. The company is already subject to another DSA investigation over its handling of political advertising, ahead of the forthcoming European Parliament elections on June 6-9.