US States Take Legal Action Against Instagram and Meta for Harming Youth Mental Health

The lawsuit accuses Meta of deceiving the public about the dangers of its platforms and intentionally luring young people into addictive social media use.
02 November 2023
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Attorneys General from multiple states are suing Instagram and its parent company, Meta. They accuse Meta of deliberately misleading the public about the dangers of their platforms and enticing young users into addictive social media habits. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in California, claims that Meta has knowingly exploited powerful technologies to profit from young users.

33 states, including California and Illinois, have filed the complaint, with nine more expected to join. The lawsuit seeks significant civil penalties and adds to the mounting pressure on social media firms over their impact and lack of oversight. Meta stands accused of using user information to maximize engagement while concealing the potential harm caused by their products.

The lawsuit cites the revelations made by whistleblower Frances Haugen in 2021, which exposed Instagram's contribution to body image issues among teenage girls. These revelations sparked a congressional hearing on social media's impact on young people. President Joe Biden and the US surgeon general have also expressed concern about the negative effects of social media on youth mental health.

Meta is already facing multiple lawsuits from children and school districts regarding similar concerns.

- CyberBeat


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