Breton, a prominent figure in regulating digital platforms, will visit Meta’s California headquarters on June 23 and intends to discuss the issue directly with Zuckerberg.
European Union official Thierry Breton is planning to meet with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in person to address concerns about the company’s failure to prevent the spread of child sexual abuse material on its platform
He expressed doubts about Meta’s voluntary code on child protection, emphasizing the need for immediate action and an explanation from Zuckerberg himself. Breton also highlighted that Meta will soon be subjected to the European Union’s comprehensive content moderation law, known as the Digital Services Act, which could result in significant penalties for violations. Under this law, fines of up to 6% of a company’s global revenue are possible.
An investigation conducted jointly by the Wall Street Journal, Stanford University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst revealed that Meta-owned Instagram has facilitated a thriving marketplace for child pornography. The investigation, published recently, detailed how Instagram’s technology, including algorithms, search functions, and hashtags, has connected creators, sellers, and buyers of underage pornography. In response to these findings, Meta has established an internal task force to investigate the claims and has already resolved technical issues that prevented certain user reports from reaching content reviewers.
The company stated that it removed over 490,000 accounts in January 2023 for violating its child safety policies
Breton’s visit to Meta coincides with EU officials planning to evaluate Twitter’s compliance with the Digital Services Act at the platform’s San Francisco offices later this month. It remains uncertain if Breton’s trip will involve a similar evaluation of Meta’s platforms or if the meeting with Zuckerberg was scheduled prior to the investigation’s revelations.