Meta Sued Over ‘Addictive’ Features, Mental Health Harms

‘The company used addictive features to ensnare users while concealing the substantial dangers of its platforms.’

Meta Sued Over ‘Addictive’ Features, Mental Health Harms

The parent company of Facebook and Instagram, Meta, has been under fire for allegedly spreading false information to the public about the dangers of social media use and for contributing to teenage mental health problems.

Numerous US states declared support for the federal lawsuit that contained the accusations.

Their claim is that the corporation concealed the "substantial dangers" of its platforms while using addictive features to "ensnare" people.

It was "disappointed", according to Meta.

According to the lawsuit, Meta's actions were "deceptive" and violated consumer protection regulations.

In violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, it was also claimed that the company gathered information on minors younger than thirteen.

One of the 33 attorneys general who joined the complaint was New York Attorney General Letitia James. "Social media companies, including Meta, have contributed to a national youth mental health crisis, and they must be held accountable," James stated.

Nine other states filed complaints based on identical allegations.

According to a Meta representative, the firm has "already introduced over 30 tools to support teens and their families" and shares the solicitors' aim of "providing teens with safe, positive experiences online".

"We're disappointed that instead of working productively with companies across the industry to create clear, age-appropriate standards for the many apps teens use, the attorneys general have chosen this path," a spokesperson said.

Due to the negative effects on mental health, families, youth, and school districts have already brought hundreds of lawsuits against Meta and other social media firms in the US.

The largest action to date is this. It comes after a whistleblower named Frances Haugen testified in the US that the corporation knew its products may damage children, leading to an inquiry into the company's practices by multiple state prosecutors in 2021.

Meta disputes the idea that Instagram is bad for the mental health of young people.

"It is merely untrue that this study indicates Instagram is "toxic" for teenage girls," Vice president and head of research at Meta Pratiti Raychoudhury stated at the time.