Meta Faces Lawsuits for Creating Addictive Features on Facebook and Instagram

Meta, the parent company of social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, is currently facing legal action from 41 states and the District of Columbia in the United States. These lawsuits allege that the addictive features of both platforms are causing harm to children. The legal actions stem from an extensive investigation conducted in 2021, which examined claims that Meta contributes to the mental health issues faced by young people.

Misleading Practices and Exploitation

The federal lawsuit, consisting of 233 pages, argues that Meta engaged in a “plan to exploit young users for profit.” It accuses the company of deliberately misleading the public about the safety features and prevalence of harmful content on its platforms. Furthermore, Meta is accused of collecting data from young users and violating federal privacy laws for children. The lawsuit also claims that the company knowingly implemented changes to keep children engaged on the platforms, despite the negative impact on their well-being.

“In seeking to maximize its financial gains, Meta has repeatedly misled the public about the substantial dangers of its Social Media Platforms.” – Our Country Our Choice

Meta’s Response

In response to the legal action, Meta’s spokesperson, Liza Crenshaw, expressed disappointment and suggested that the attorneys general should work with the industry to establish clear and appropriate age standards instead of resorting to lawsuits. However, concerns about the relationship between social media use and the mental health of young people have led some states to pass laws prohibiting access to social media platforms for children under 13 years old. Additionally, parental consent is required for individuals under 18 years old to use these platforms.

Changes Made by Meta

Meta has made changes to its policies and products in an attempt to make its applications safer for children. These changes include tools for parents to track their children’s activity and stricter default privacy settings for young users. Despite these efforts, the concerns surrounding the impact of social media on children’s well-being persist.

Ongoing Challenges

The lawsuits against Meta highlight the growing concern about the addictive nature of social media platforms and their impact on the mental health of young users. While Meta has taken steps to address these concerns, the legal actions suggest that the changes made by the company are not sufficient. The outcome of these lawsuits could have significant implications for the regulation of social media platforms and the protection of children online.

Conclusion

The lawsuits filed by 41 states and the District of Columbia against Meta underscore the serious allegations regarding the addictive features of Facebook and Instagram. The legal actions accuse Meta of exploiting young users for profit and disregarding their well-being. As the legal proceedings unfold, it remains to be seen how these lawsuits will shape the future of social media regulation and the protection of children online.