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Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is currently under investigation by the European Commission for its potential addictive effects on children. This investigation comes after another recent inquiry into Meta’s handling of disinformation and misleading political ads. The Commission is concerned that the algorithms used on these platforms may encourage addictive behavior and create ‘rabbit hole’ effects, leading users to more extreme content.

In addition to this, the Commission has raised questions about the effectiveness of Meta’s age verification methods. It is suspected that Instagram and Facebook exploit minors’ vulnerabilities and do not adequately protect them from harmful content. The Commission has the power to impose interim measures and require commitments from Meta during the investigation process.

The European Digital Services Act applies to platforms with a large number of users in the EU, and Meta is obligated to protect internet users under this act. However, investigations have also been opened into other platforms like X, AliExpress, and TikTok for similar reasons, particularly regarding the protection of minors.

This formal investigation by the European Commission signifies its dedication to holding online platforms accountable for their impact on users. From combating addictive behaviors in children to addressing disinformation, these actions aim to create a safer and more responsible online environment.

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