Italy’s competition watchdog has launched a probe into Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok over what it says is “dangerous content” that the app is failing to remove.
The Italian decision is the latest in a series of bans and restrictions targeting the app in Europe and the US.
It also comes as the Dutch government advised officials not to install the app on their work phones, following in the footsteps of other countries including Britain, Belgium and the US.
Why is TikTok being probed in Italy?
The Italian antitrust authority on Tuesday accused TikTok of breaching its own guidelines by failing to remove content related to suicide, self-harm and poor nutrition.
A recent face-marking challenge, dubbed “French scar,” has taken the app by storm. The challenge involves pinching one’s face until it bruises.
The Italian authority’s investigation involves TikTok’s Irish unit, which handles its European customer relations. The authority added that police also visited the app’s Italian headquarters on Tuesday.
Bans on official phones
The social media giant has in tandem been struck with a series of bans recently.
On Tuesday, the Netherlands “immediately discouraged” central government employees from installing on their business phones apps from countries “with an offensive cyber program against the Netherlands and/or Dutch interests,” citing cyber security fears.
Though it did not name TikTok, the memo is widely believed to affect the app, owned by Chinese company ByteDance. The national intelligence agency AIVD had already added China, alongside Russia, North Korea and Iran, to a list of countries where apps “carry a heightened risk of espionage.”
The British and US governments also took similar measures, alongside the European Commission,the European Union’s executive arm. And Britain’s public broadcaster, the BBC, recommended that its employees remove the app from their corporate phones.
Also on Tuesday, Norway’s youngest government member and Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl made the same recommendation. Mehl’s own previous active TikTok use has previously gotten her in trouble with the public.
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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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