Italy Fines TikTok €10 Million for Not Protecting Minors

Italy's got a bone to pick with TikTok. The country's competition watchdog, AGCM, has hit the social media platform with a big fat €10 million (about $11 million) fine.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Italy Fines TikTok €10 Million for Not Protecting Minors
© Getty Images/Mario Tama

Italy's got a bone to pick with TikTok. The country's competition watchdog, AGCM, has hit the social media platform with a big fat €10 million (about $11 million) fine. They're not happy because they think TikTok hasn't done enough to keep kids and other young users safe from sketchy content.

According to them, TikTok, which is run by the Chinese company ByteDance, kinda dropped the ball by not considering how young people might copy harmful behaviors they see online. Last March, AGCM decided to take a closer look at how TikTok checks what gets posted on its platform.

They were especially worried about this bizarre "French scar" challenge where people were hurting themselves to leave bruises. Even though TikTok said they made this content harder to find for young users and that hardly anyone in Italy was searching for it, AGCM still went ahead with the fine.

Europe's Giving TikTok a Hard Time

This isn't the first rodeo for TikTok when it comes to getting in trouble in Europe. They've already been fined a boatload of money for not doing enough to protect kids. For example, the Irish Data Protection Commission fined them €345 million ($376 million) because when kids signed up, their profiles were public by default, meaning anyone could see them.

Things are heating up even more for TikTok. The European Union just started digging into whether TikTok is doing enough to keep inappropriate content away from kids. Over in the US, the House of Representatives is talking about banning TikTok altogether, saying it's a risk because China could get its hands on American users' info.

China's not too pleased, calling the move "bullying." And it's not just TikTok getting the side-eye. The European Commission is now poking around AliExpress, another platform from China, checking if they're playing fast and loose with EU rules about dodgy content, kids seeing stuff they shouldn't, and selling knock-off products.

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