Italy Launches Safety Probe Amid Viral TikTok French Scar Challenge

TikTok is finding itself embroiled in another controversy, this time over user safety concerns. After a so-called “French scar” challenge went viral on the video sharing platform, Italy’s consumer watchdog has opened an investigation into user safety concerns. While these challenges are supposed to be fun, some users have been seen apparently pinching their faces in order to create and show off red lines as mock scars. TikTok will hopefully take note of this issue and make sure that its users are safe while playing the challenges.

The AGCM’s accusation feels a little like an attempt to ride the coattails of TikTok’s recent problems in order to shame the platform into improving its moderation policies. After all, it’s not as though pinching yourself is an inherently dangerous thing–in fact, it might be a very common habit and not cause any harm (as opposed to things like self-harm or suicidal thoughts). In light of this, the AGCM seems justifiably dubious about TikTok’s claim to HRM its content.

The AGCM is investigating TikTok Technology Limited and its European consumer relations, as well as the Italian subsidiaries of TikTok. Today, the AGCM carried out an inspection at the Italian headquarters of TikTok, aided by the Special Antitrust Unit of the Guardia di Finanza. The investigation is looking into whether or not TikTok is using their platform to manipulate prices in Europe and Italy.

The authorities say that the social media app TikTok has been especially problematic because of its popularity with teens, many of whom are engaging in self-injurious behavior through challenges like the “French scar” challenge.

TikTok is facing criticism from the AGCM for its content management system (CMS) and lack of monitoring of user content. The platform is being accused of not applying its own rules and removing dangerous content that its terms claims is not allowed. This leaves vulnerable users at risk, and has led to calls for stricter regulation from the AGCM.

Some people worry that artificial intelligence is responsible for the spread of problem challenges on TikTok, as they can be easily Watched and shared by users. While it’s difficult to say definitively whether AI plays a role in this phenomenon, there are concerns that it might be facilitating the spread of Dangerous and Inharmful content. As with any new technology, there is always potential for misuse if not properly supervised. It’s important that we

This potentially harmful challenge, which encourages participants to eat Tide Pods, has been widely criticised by both the public and experts for its dangerous and gruesome nature. Some have even compared it to an online ‘suicide game’. But the platform that popularized it, TikTok, has come under increasing pressure to take responsibility for the content shown in its ‘For you’ feed – which is supposedly personalized based on users’ viewing and interaction history. Although how much of a role TikTok’s algorithm had in amplifying and spreading this challenge is a commercial guarded secret, it does raise questions about how responsibly the company takes its responsibility for content presented through its platform.

The AGCM may audit the TikTok algorithm in order to ensure that its videos comply with ethical guidelines. In light of recent controversies surrounding the platform, including allegations of child exploitation, it is important for TikTok to take steps to protect users from harmful content.

TikTok, one of the most popular mobile apps in the world, has come under scrutiny after reports surfaced that their algorithms are promoting harmful content. The app is known for its short videos and easy-to-use interface, which makes it an attractive platform for users to share risqué and potentially harmful content. However, as the app continues to grow in popularity and availability, authorities may find it more difficult

Just this week, Italian data protection watchdog CONI issued a warning to TikTok after receiving reports of child safety dangers related to the popular app’s “blackout” challenge. In this game, players must avoid hitting an ever- increasing number of objects while viewers across the world vote on which one the player should hit next. Unfortunately, according to Italian media reports, one ten-year-old girl died as a result of playing the game online; CONI is urging TikTok to take action in order to ensure that children are not playing it at too high a risk. Although CONI has not yet made any formal recommendations about how TikTok could improve its safety measures, it seems likely that tighter restrictions on user access and age verification will be among its proposed solutions.

TikTok has faced pressure from DPAs before to make changes to its privacy policy, but it seems that these warnings have not dissuaded the company from making future moves. In December of last year, TikTok announced plans to stop asking users for their consent to target ads, but the company was met with criticism from DPAs. The regulator warned TikTok that its proposed change could violate data protection laws and after other DPAs intervened, the plan was ultimately dropped.

China is the dominant user of TikTok, with 60% of all downloads in the last month according to App Annie. The company has already been struggling with a backlash from Western governments over allegations that it is used for pornographic purposes, as well as national security concerns over its app’s connection to China. This has led to in-app restrictions on government devices and even a total ban in some cases. If TikTok doesn’t split its ownership between Chinese and foreign companies, the United States may follow suit and completely ban the app.

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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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