TikTok fined €10 million in Italy for insufficient protection of minors

The Italian regulator AGCM has fined TikTok 10 million euros for insufficient measures to protect minors from harmful content. It was reported by the ANGA agency.

On March 14, the regulator fined three TikTok departments a total of 10 million euros for not adequately checking the content for potential harm to underage users.

“TikTok has not taken adequate measures to prevent the spread of such content and does not fully comply with the guidelines it has agreed to to assure users that the platform is safe,” the AGCM said in a statement.

In particular, the regulator drew attention to the so-called “challenges” on TikTok, which often go viral among young people and whose “tasks” are questionably safe. 

A TikTok spokesperson told CNN that it disagreed with the AGCM’s decision. “The so-called ‘French scar’ content had just 100 daily searches in Italy prior to the AGCM’s announcement last year, and we long ago restricted visibility of this content to under-18s.”

The Italian watchdog announced an inquiry into TikTok’s content moderation practices last year.

The Irish Data Protection Commission, which oversees TikTok’s activities across the EU, ordered the video platform in September 2023 to pay a €345 million fine, saying that TikTok failed to protect kids. The watchdog found that newly created profiles of kids were set to public by default, meaning anybody on the web could view them.

Last month, the EU launched an investigation into TikTok to determine whether the Chinese-owned platform is doing enough to protect minors, saying that its age verification tools — aimed at preventing kids from accessing inappropriate video content — “may not be reasonable, proportionate and effective.”

Meanwhile, the US House of Representatives has approved a bill that would ban TikTok if the Chinese company that owns it does not resell its US assets in the next six months. 

The legislation would shut out TikTok from app stores in the United States unless the Chinese-owned platform — used by around 170 million Americans — is split off from ByteDance and sold to an American company.

The European Commission launched an official investigation in February into possible violations by TikTok of new EU digital rules aimed at protecting underage users and advertising transparency.

Read also: TikTok blocked Russian bots network that spread in EU propaganda about war in Ukraine

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