TikTok Faces Hefty Fine for Content Oversight in Italy

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Italy’s competition authority has imposed a €10 million fine on TikTok for not sufficiently monitoring content that could harm young and vulnerable audiences. The social media platform, a subsidiary of the Chinese firm ByteDance, has been scrutinized for allowing the spread of the so-called “French scar” challenge, which encourages behavior that could cause physical harm.

Despite TikTok’s claims of having curtailed the visibility of such content for users under 18, the Italian watchdog has criticized the platform for not living up to its safety assurances. The regulator’s stance underscores a growing global demand for social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram to provide robust protection for underage users.

This action comes on the heels of another regulatory body, AGCOM, mandating the removal of the controversial videos last month. Furthermore, the antitrust authority highlighted that TikTok’s profiling algorithms had facilitated the distribution of the harmful content.

The fine levied by Italy adds to the pressures TikTok is facing internationally. In the United States, a draft bill that could lead to a ban unless ByteDance divests its ownership has recently passed the House of Representatives. With around 170 million American users, the potential ban underscores the mounting concerns over the safety and privacy practices of the popular app.

TikTok’s response to the Italian fine was one of disagreement, maintaining their commitment to user safety.

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