Lazy eyes listen
The attorneys general of 41 US states and the District of Columbia have launched a federal lawsuit against Instagram and its parent company Meta, alleging the popular social media platform of contributing to the country’s growing mental health crisis among youth.
The legal complaint, filed in federal court in California on Tuesday, states that “Meta has harnessed powerful and unprecedented technologies to entice, engage, and ultimately ensnare youth and teens,” and that “its motive is profit.”
According to the lawsuit, Meta purposefully attracted young people into obsessive social media use by employing a variety of ways to ensure that they spent as much time as possible on the service. Despite the fact that Meta is aware that young people are more prone to seeking acceptance from their peers, often in the form of ‘likes’ of their content online, the claim adds.
“Social media companies, including Meta, have contributed to a national youth mental health crisis and they must be held accountable,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James, one of the officials who have signed the lawsuit.
It also claims that Meta used “deceptive” ways to conceal the dangers of its product, violating consumer protection regulations, and that it gathers user data on minors under the age of 13 – a breach of the minors’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
In response, Meta issued a statement in which it said it was “disappointed that instead of working productively with companies across the industry to create clear, age-appropriate standards for the many apps teens use, the solicitors general have chosen this path.” Meta went on to say that the company had “already introduced over 30 tools to support teens and their families.”
In the United States, Meta, along with other social media platforms, is already facing hundreds of lawsuits from families and individuals.