The European Union (EU) has threatened Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg with “heavy sanctions” if he doesn’t take quick steps to protect children on Instagram.
The alert was sent in response to emails alleging that networks of pedophiles who commission and market child sex abuse content on Instagram are being supported by the social media platform’s recommendation algorithms. To cover up and reveal such an Instagram account network, The Wall Street Journal collaborated with scholars at Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Children’s Safeguard on Instagram
Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for the internal market, stated in a tweet that the company’s “voluntary code on child protection seems to not work.”
“As he said on Twitter, “I will meet him in Menlo Park at Meta’s HQ.” He cited the Digital Services Act in stating that Meta will need to demonstrate actions by August 25 or risk harsh penalties.
- Alert issued on Instagram’s recommendation algorithms supporting pedophile networks.
- Mark Zuckerberg to discuss Meta’s measures by August 25 or face sanctions.
- DSA fines Instagram 6% of annual revenue for spreading CSM, and promoting underage content.
The fine for failing to stop the dissemination of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) by the DSA can amount to up to 6% of the social media company’s annual global revenue. A study published in the Wall Street Journal alleges Instagram is used to promote and connect a vast number of accounts dedicated to selling and promoting underage sex content.
Less than one-third of the profiles they discovered on Instagram, the investigators discovered “128 accounts on Twitter offering to sell child sex abuse material.”
The Journal was informed by Meta that it had not responded to these reports and that “it was reviewing its internal processes”.