Italy's Antitrust probes TikTok over 'French scar' dangerous content

FILE PHOTO: TikTok app logo is seen in this illustration taken, August 22, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's antitrust authority said on Tuesday it had opened an investigation into the Chinese-owned app TikTok as it allegedly breaches its rules by allowing the publication of "dangerous content" inciting suicide, self-harm and poor nutrition.

The probe involves TikTok's Irish unit, which is responsible for its European customers relations, as well as the British and Italian divisions, the watchdog said in a statement. Italy's tax police visited the Italian headquarters of the app on Tuesday, it added.

TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, is facing tighter regulation, with growing international concern about the potential for the Chinese government to access users' location and contact data.

The Italian authority said that on the platform there are numerous videos of young people adopting self-harming behaviour, such us the recent 'French scar' face-marking challenge which has become viral.

According to the watchdog "adequate systems to supervise content published by third parties are lacking" and the app violates TikTok's guidelines which provide for the removal of dangerous content.

The antitrust body also takes issue with the exploitation of artificial intelligence techniques capable of "causing undue conditioning" of TikTok's users.

TikTok did not immediately respond to requests from Reuters for comment.

(Reporting by Cristina Carlevaro, editing by Keith Weir)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!


Next In Tech News

Will you be replaced by your AI clone? Maybe one day, but not quite yet
In crisis-hit Pakistan, rogue loan apps add to financial pain
Game, set and patch: When athletes put faith in dubious tech gizmos
Meta tells office workers to come in three days per week this fall
Majority of EU countries against network fee levy on Big Tech, sources say
YouTube to stop removing content making false claims on past elections
US court approves 'social casino' $415 million class settlement
Twitter's head of brand safety and ad quality to leave -source
In challenge to Meta, Apple expected to unveil mixed-reality headset
India's Tata Group signs $1.6 billion EV battery plant deal

Others Also Read