[IT] Protection of minors: AGCOM intervenes to remove videos from TikTok

IRIS 2024-3:1/15

Francesco Di Giorgi

Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni (AGCOM)

Following an intervention by the Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM), the video-sharing platform TikTok, based in Ireland, has proceeded to remove several videos from its platform, all related to the so-called "French scar". The videos identified involve challenges (or so-called challenges) related to the phenomenon known as the "French scar" where very young participants intentionally bruise themselves and create red marks by squeezing the skin of their cheeks around the cheekbones. The purpose behind this practice is to pretend to have been involved in a physical altercation and to appear tough, demonstrating one's courage.

This represents the first case implemented by AGCOM in accordance with the new regulation on video-sharing platforms, as per Resolution No. 298/23/CONS, which was introduced into the Italian legal system through Article 41, paragraph 7, of the Consolidated Text on Audiovisual Media Services (TUSMA). Under this new regulation, which came into effect on 8 January, AGCOM has the power to limit the circulation of programmes, user-generated videos, and audiovisual commercial communications on a video-sharing platform, directed at the Italian public, if such content proves harmful to the psycho-physical development of minors, incites hatred, or harms consumers, or in the presence of an urgent situation due to the risk of serious, imminent, and irreparable harm to users' rights  (see IRIS 2024-1:1/13).

In accordance with this provision, AGCOM initiated the procedure, leading to TikTok's voluntary removal of the videos concerned within the five-day time frame stipulated by the aforementioned regulation.


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This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.