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Italy fines TikTok $11 million for failing to protect minors

London CNN  —  Italy’s competition authority has fined TikTok €10 million ($11 million) for failing to control the spread of content that it said threatened the safety of minors and other vulnerable people. The antitrust agency, AGCM, said Thursday that TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, had failed to take into account the specific vulnerabilities of adolescents using its platform, such as a tendency toward copying group behaviors. The watchdog said in a statement that the video-sharing platform “has not taken adequate measures to avoid the spread of (harmful) content,” adding that its algorithms meant such content could be “systematically re-proposed to users.” The AGCM pointed to a trend known as the ‘French Scar’ as an example of harmful content. The trend involved TikTok users pinching their own cheeks to leave a lasting bruise, Reuters reported last month. A TikTok spokesperson told CNN that it disagreed with the AGCM’s decision. “We long ago restricted visibility of this content to (under-18s).” Angelica Chiara Yazbeck contributed reporting.