Facebook and Instagram

The European Union launched new investigations on Facebook and Instagram on Thursday. This action is regarding stringent digital regulations on protecting children in social media. This is the latest detailed inspection of the Meta Platform, which is the parent company of the above-mentioned under the 27-nationEU. The Union implemented the DSA last year to clean up online platforms and to safeguard users online. 

The EEU’s executive arm has expressed concerns regarding the algorithm systems of Instagram and Facebook. The posts and videos suggested on these platforms may exploit the weakness of inexperienced children, which may promote addictive behavior. They also fear that this system could intensify the rabbit hole effect, leading users to disturbing content. 

Also, the Commission is investigating Meta’s age verification to prevent children from getting access to Facebook and Instagram and getting exposed to explicit content. These platforms are only accessible for children whose age group ranges from 13 and above. The inquiry will also check whether Meta follows DSA rules that mandate a high level of privacy, safety, and security for minors.

Facebook and Instagram

The Meta stated in a prepared statement that they have 50 tools and policies designed for safe, age-appropriate content online. It is a challenge that they have been facing, and is willing to work with the European Commission and share details of the work. However, European Commissioner Thierry Breton is not convinced and has expressed this through social media posts. It is also mentioned in the post that the parent platform has not done enough to act according to the DSA to prevent any negative impact on physical and mental health. 

The Commissioner has also opened two separate investigations on TikTok regarding concerns regarding children’s safety. This is not the first time that these platforms have come under investigation. They are already being scrutinized for not doing enough to combat foreign disinformation by the DSA. This scrutiny also includes other platforms like X and AliExpress regarding the above mentioned. 

Facebook is the leading platform, with statistics of around 3065 million people, followed by YouTube and Instagram. These platforms are popular among users, and the numbers continue to increase compared to the statistics from last year. With a growing user group, 32% of these user groups on Instagram and 35% on TikTok are primarily 18-29-year-old adults. Though there are no accurate statistics on the number of children involved in this platform, it is a concern that needs to be addressed. Even though the minimum age for accessing online platforms is 13, there are various statistics of children who are exposed to these online platforms who have experienced serious traumatic experiences. To put it in context, in the US alone, around 12 million children are exposed to cyber dangers, 9 million are impacted by cyberbullying, and 6 million have encountered cyber threats.

There is no set deadline for the investigations to conclude. Once the result is published, these violations could result in fines of up to 6% of a company’s annual worldwide revenue.