Brussels launches inquiry into Meta for harmful impact on minors’ health due to its networks.

The European Commission has launched a formal investigation into Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, to determine if they have breached the Digital Services Act (DSA) by not adequately safeguarding young users. The Commission’s concerns center on the algorithms used by Meta’s social networks, which are believed to lead to addictive behavior and the spread of false information and hoaxes in children.

Brussels has been critical of Meta’s compliance with DSA regulations aimed at protecting young people’s well-being. In response, Meta has stated that it is committed to providing a safe online environment for young users and has implemented various tools and policies to protect minors.

The investigation was sparked by a risk assessment report submitted by Meta in September 2023, which raised concerns about potential negative impacts on young users. Brussels suspects that the design of Facebook and Instagram may exploit minors’ vulnerabilities and trigger addictive behaviors. The Commission also wants to ensure that Meta has effective age verification tools and safeguards in place to protect young people’s privacy and security.

Meta is already facing scrutiny over its practices related to children in both Europe and the US. In addition to this investigation, another probe was opened in April related to political content control and misleading advertising before European elections. Brussels has been pushing large platforms like Meta to take proactive measures to prevent misinformation and foreign interference in the electoral process.

Overall, the European Commission is taking a proactive approach towards ensuring that large platforms like Meta meet their obligations under the DSA in protecting young users and safeguarding digital spaces.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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