Forty-one states are taking Meta, Instagram and Facebook’s parent company, to court over the strategies and algorithms they use to get young people’s attention and keep them endlessly scrolling.
All while assuring to make the platforms safe for minors, Meta has no significant protections such as “alternative feasible age verification,” the suit notes, via Deadline.
“Research has shown that young people’s use of Meta’s Social Media Platforms is associated with depression, anxiety, insomnia, interference with education and daily life, and many other negative outcomes,” stated the joint complaint filed by 33-states, including California and New York, in federal court Tuesday. “Nonetheless, Meta has continued to deny and downplay these harmful effects to the public and to promote its Platforms as safe for young users.”
Barrett Pall on keeping kids safe online
The individual violation penalties from states like California, where Meta’s headquarters are located, begin around $2,500. However, that penalty for each of the millions of users on both Instagram and Facebook could drive the total into the billions.
“Over the past decade, Meta – itself and through its flagship Social Media Platforms Facebook and Instagram (its Social Media Platforms or Platforms) – has profoundly altered the psychological and social realities of a generation of young Americans,” the suit continues.
“Meta has harnessed powerful and unprecedented technologies to entice, engage, and ultimately ensnare youth and teens," it continues. "Its motive is profit, and in seeking to maximize its financial gains, Meta has repeatedly misled the public about the substantial dangers of its Social Media Platforms. It has concealed the ways in which these Platforms exploit and manipulate its most vulnerable consumers: teenagers and children."
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