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The Italian competition authority (Autorita’ Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, AGCM), which also deals with consumer protection, imposed a EUR 10 million fine on TikTok on 14 March 2024. The fine was imposed because TikTok did not do enough to protect young people from the dangerous ‘French scar’ challenge. This challenge invites young people to make red marks appear on their faces by scratching or pulling their cheeks. TikTok did not take adequate measures to prevent the distribution of this dangerous content and even recommended it. This constitutes an unfair trade practice. A year ago, the AGCM began investigating this challenge and other dangerous content, such as videos promoting suicide, self-harm and anorexia.

The Take Back Your Privacy Foundation (TBYP) considers it a positive development that national and European regulators are increasingly investigating the dangerous commercial practices by TikTok and punishing TikTok for it. TBYP’s collective action against TikTok is partly based on TikTok’s unfair commercial practices and the lack of protection TikTok offers to minors.

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