A total of 33 state attorneys general launched a joint lawsuit against tech giant Meta over its platforms’ alleged adverse effects on children, according to a court filing on Tuesday.
In an effort to maximize profits, Meta has deceived the public about the significant risks to minors posed by its social media platforms, the lawsuit alleges. It has allegedly concealed and turned a blind eye to how the platforms have extensively harmed American teenagers’ and children’s mental and physical health. (RELATED: ‘Bleeding Across Borders’: EU’s Censorship Law Is Pushing Big Tech To Censor Americans, Experts Say)
Today, I joined a lawsuit suing Meta in federal court alleging the company knowingly designed and deployed harmful features on Instagram and its other social media platforms that purposefully addict children and teens.
We have been investigating this issue on various platforms…
— Patrick Morrisey (@MorriseyWV) October 24, 2023
“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,” the complaint asserts. “It has concealed the ways in which these Platforms exploit and manipulate its most vulnerable consumers: teenagers and children. And it has ignored the sweeping damage these Platforms have caused to the mental and physical health of our nation’s youth. In doing so, Meta engaged in, and continues to engage in, deceptive and unlawful conduct in violation of state and federal law.”
“We share the attorneys general’s commitment to providing teens with safe, positive experiences online, and have already introduced over 30 tools to support teens and their families,” a Meta spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “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.”
The lawsuit asserts that Meta claims its platforms are healthy for young people while it purposely gets them hooked.
“While Meta consistently reassures parents, lawmakers, and users that its Social Media Platforms are suitable for young users and designed to promote their well-being, it continues to develop and implement features that it knows induce young users’ extended, addictive, and compulsive social media use,” the complaint states.
Eight other states and Washington, D.C. also launched different lawsuits against Meta on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post.
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