TikTok and ‘French scar’, Antitrust opens investigation

The action following the presence on the social network of numerous videos of children who adopt self-harming behaviors

Challenge of the ‘French Scar’, the Competition and Market Authority has launched an investigation against the Irish company TikTok Technology Limited, active in the social media sector through the TikTok platform, and responsible for relations with European consumers. The proceeding also involves the English and Italian companies. The Antitrust has decided to start the investigation following the presence on the platform of numerous videos of young people adopting self-harming behaviours.

The Antitrust contested TikTok the failure to set up adequate monitoring systems to supervise the contents published by third partiesaccording to the parameters of diligence required, and above all in the presence of particularly vulnerable service users such as minors.

Furthermore, according to the Authority, the companies would not have applied their own Guidelines, which contemplate the removal of dangerous content related to challenges, suicide, self-harm and incorrect nutrition. Finally, the exploitation of artificial intelligence techniques likely to cause an undue conditioning of users was disputed. The reference is, in particular, to the algorithm underlying the functioning of the platform which, using user data, personalizes the display of advertising and re-proposes contents similar to those already displayed and with which one has interacted through the like function.

Today the Competition and Market Authority, with the help of the Special Antitrust Unit of the Guardia di Finanza, carried out an inspection of the Italian headquarters of TikTok.