TikTok, Antitrust investigation into the risks of the “French scar” challenge among boys

TikTok ends up under the Antitrust lens for the risks of dangerous online challenges among teenagers. 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 who adopt self-harm behaviors; lastly, the “French scar” challenge went viral.

Antitrust denies lack of monitoring

The Antitrust has contested TikTok’s failure to set up adequate monitoring systems to supervise the contents published by third parties, according to the parameters of diligence required, and above all in the presence of particularly vulnerable users of the service 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.