Italy Fines TikTok Over Safety Concerns for Kids

Italy has fined TikTok 10 million euros for not protecting children well enough. TikTok is a very popular app where people share short videos. The Italian authorities say TikTok didn't watch the content closely, especially the videos that could harm kids. Because of how the app works, it keeps showing users more of this unsafe content.

The fine targets three parts of TikTok's parent company, Bytedance, based in China. These are TikTok Technology in Ireland, TikTok Information Technologies UK, and TikTok Italy. The officials in Italy believe TikTok did not follow its own rules that were supposed to make the app safe. They say the app didn't consider how teenagers think differently. Teenagers might not tell real from fake well and often copy what others do. This is why the app's way of suggesting videos can be harmful.

One example given is the "French scar challenge." In this challenge, kids hurt themselves to create bruises, following tutorials found on TikTok. This has worried people who work in schools and health. TikTok, however, says it disagrees with the decision by the Italian authorities. It mentioned that the search for "French Scar" content was not very high in Italy until the investigation began. TikTok also said it had tried to limit young people from seeing this content.

TikTok has become very popular all over the world. But because it is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company, some countries worry about the influence of the Chinese government. In the US, the House of Representatives has passed a bill. This bill could lead to TikTok being sold off by ByteDance or banned in the US if it doesn't happen.

Image: DIW-AIgen

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