Meta and Instagram Face Lawsuit by US States Over Youth Health Issues

Business View
5 Min Read

Meta and Instagram came into trouble after facing a lawsuit made by dozens of US states. The lawsuits were sued by states stating that the use of Meta and Instagram is causing serious health issues among youth. According to the reports, this complaint was lodged on Tuesday, 24th October 2023 in which 33 US states, including New York and California, accused the parent company of Facebook, of systematically misled regarding the association with its platforms. Now, this news is trending on social media and pulling the attention of the netizens who want to know more details about it, what Meta has stated in their defence and what the exact matter is. 


As we mentioned above, several US States are suing Meta and Instagram and accusing these platforms of becoming the cause of youth mental health crises. This complaint has been lodged in the federal court of Oakland, California in which the complainant said that the parent company of Facebook repeatedly fooled the public about the dangers of its platforms and intentionally induced youth particularly young teenagers and children into compulsive and addictive social media use. The complaint further added that “Meta has misused or harnessed unprecedented and powerful technologies to involve, entice, and ultimately ensnare teens and youth. Its only motive is to make a profit rather than thinking about the health of youth.” 


Young kids and teenagers have long been an attractive demographic for big businesses in the longing to attract them as consumers at a very young age when they may be more solidifying and impressionable brand loyalty. Meta believes that children may help the company to get secure advertisers who believe that kids will purchase their product as it is easy for them to buy it as they are growing up. However, the complainant states the research that has been conducted on kids shows that the use of Meta’s social media platforms is causing serious mental and physical health issues among children such as “anxiety, depression, insomnia, causing problems in education as well as in their personal daily lives and so on. 


The research conducted on children and young teens clearly shows the negative impact of Meta’s social media platforms. In the response to the lawsuit, Meta states it was “sad and disappointing”. The company shared their response in which they stated that “Instead of working productively with firms all over the industry to make clear, age-appropriate standards for the several applications which are used by teens, the lawyers general have decided to take his way.” A further addition to this, 8 other U.S States and Washington, D.C. are lodging similar lawsuits against Meta. That means a total of 42 companies have lodged complaints against Meta, the company based in California. 


This case is a further addition to the ongoing legal actions against Meta’s social media platforms from the side of children and teenagers. Google’s YouTube and ByteDance’s TikTok are already facing numerous lawsuits lodged on behalf of school districts and children about the negative impact of social media on children. The research shows that kids are spending most of their time on social media rather than the outside world. The latest case which was lodged on Tuesday will bring a lot of difficulties in front of Meta as the company could face civil penalties ranging between $1,000 to $50,000 for each violation of numerous state laws. This amount could add up quickly given the millions of teenagers and young children who spend most of their time on Instagram. Apart from that, the shares of Meta dropped down 0.6% on the Nasdaq in the afternoon.

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