- A bipartisan group of 42 state attorneys general filed a lawsuit against Meta, alleging the company intentionally designed Facebook and Instagram to be addictive for kids and teens.
- The lawsuit claims Meta used features like infinite scrolling and algorithms to hook young users, knowingly harming their mental health and violating privacy laws.
- The attorneys general are seeking accountability and change, arguing Meta cannot claim ignorance given internal research showing platforms worsened body image issues for teen girls.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be incredibly addictive and harmful for kids and teens. A new lawsuit filed by a bipartisan group of 42 state attorneys general alleges that Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, intentionally designed features to hook young users.
The Bipartisan Lawsuit Against Meta
The lawsuit demonstrates broad legal and political interest in protecting children online. Attorneys general from both parties emphasize the importance of addressing issues like social media addiction, despite polarization on other topics. This lawsuit is one part of a larger investigation into the social media industry’s practices.
How Meta Allegedly Hooked Young Users
According to the lawsuit, Meta knowingly made Facebook and Instagram addictive to keep young users engaged for longer periods of time. The company allegedly used features like infinite scrolling, notifications, and algorithms recommending content. The suit also claims Meta violated privacy laws by collecting underage users’ data without consent.
The Harmful Effects on Mental Health
The attorneys general argue that Facebook and Instagram features promote harmful social comparison and body image issues. Internal research cited in the lawsuit found that Instagram made body image issues worse for 32% of teen girls. While Meta has denied these claims publicly, the suit alleges they were aware of these effects based on leaked internal documents.
Calls for Accountability and Change
The attorneys general are seeking penalties, restitution, and an end to Meta’s allegedly harmful practices. They argue that Meta cannot claim ignorance given its own internal research. The lawsuit aims to hold social media companies accountable for designing addictive platforms that can damage teens’ mental health.