Sunday, May 28, 2023

8 lawsuits filed for ‘exploiting youth for profit’ on Meta, Instagram

Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta Platforms is facing eight new lawsuits after lawyers for the Beasley Allen law firm filed multiple complaints this week accusing the company of exploiting youth for profit.

According to a press release by Beasley Allen, the complaints accuse Meta of employing additive psychological tactics to get people to use its platform more frequently and failing to protect young and at-risk users.

“The defendants were aware that their products and related services were dangerous to young and impressionable children and adolescents, yet they completely disregarded their information,” Beasley Allen Attorney and Mass Torts Section Head Andy Birchfield said in a statement Wednesday. Told. “They implemented sophisticated algorithms designed to encourage frequent access to the platforms and prolonged exposure to harmful content.”

The lawsuits, filed in Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, claim that prolonged exposure to users of Meta and its platforms resulted in actual or attempted suicide, self-harm, eating disorders , anxiety, depression are further reduced. The ability to sleep, among other mental health conditions.

Beazley Allen cited an October 5, 2021 Senate hearing that included testimony from Facebook whistleblower Frances Hogen, who accused Meta of prioritizing profit over efforts to prevent public harm.

Lawsuits were filed against meta in colorado, delaware, florida, georgia, illinois, missouri, tennessee and texas.
Associated Press Photo/Richard Drew, FILE

“Social media use among young people should be seen as a major contributor to the mental health crisis in the country,” Birchfield said. “These applications could have been designed to minimize any potential harm, but instead, the decision was made to aggressively addict teenagers in the name of corporate profits. The time has come for this company to do that. He must acknowledge growing concerns about the impact of social media on the mental health and well-being of this most vulnerable part of our society and the changing algorithms and business motives that have caused so much damage.

Ahead of the October 2021 hearing, Instagram acknowledged that the Wall Street Journal had in the past been releasing an internal document summarizing findings by researchers tapped by the tech giant to examine the app’s impact on young users’ mental health. After, Instagram acknowledged that its app may be harmful to younger users. three years. The study found that 32% of teen girls who “felt bad about their bodies” said Instagram made the issue worse, WSJ,

Facebook whistleblower frances haugen accused meta of prioritizing profit over efforts to prevent public harm in 2021.
Facebook whistleblower frances haugen accused meta of prioritizing profit over efforts to prevent public harm in 2021.
Associated Press Photo/Alex Brandon, file

Instagram’s head of public policy, Karina Newton, said in a September 2021 blog post that the platform is brimming with research, demonstrating the company’s commitment to “understanding the complex and difficult issues that young people can struggle with, and all informs actions” Instagram does “to help those facing these issues.”

“We are proud that our app can give a voice to the marginalized, that it can help friends and families from all corners of the world stay connected, that it can inspire social change; but we also Know that this may be a place where people have negative experiences, as the Journal reported today,” Newton said in the blog post.

Instagram’s head of public policy said the company is taking steps to tackle issues such as bullying, self-harm, suicide and eating disorders as they pertain to users. The app has built in features so that users can “protect themselves from bullying” and gives users the option to hide the number of “likes” on their posts.

The WSJ, citing documents from Facebook, reported that more than 40% of Instagram users are under the age of 22, and that nearly 22 million teens use the app every day. A 2018 Pew Research survey that Newton cited in his Tuesday blog post found that 81% of teens aged 13 to 17 found that social media in general makes them feel more connected while 26% said it Makes them feel insecure.

Four out of 10 teens said they only post on social media to look good to other people, and more than half of teens surveyed said they “unfriended” or “unfollowed” other users because of bullying. has done.

Beazley Allen’s lawsuit is one of several lawsuits filed against Meta over the past year alleging harm against young users of the tech company and its platform. Various complaints point to a growing mental health crisis among American youth that appears to be related to the rise of technology and social media.

US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a new Surgeon General advisory in December 2021 warning of a growing youth mental health crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic as many young people spend more time online and away from physical school and activities .

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), early 2020 estimates show more than 6,600 suicide deaths among American youth between the ages of 10 and 24.

Emergency room visits, in particular, increased for suicide attempts among teenage girls. 51% Emergency room visits among teenage boys increased by 4% during the pandemic, and during the same period, CDC Shows data. Even before COVID-19, one in five American children aged 3 to 17 experienced mental, emotional, developmental or behavioral disorders. CDC Report shows.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached by calling 800-273-8255,

For those who do not wish to speak to a counselor, there is a national crisis text line available 24/7 by typing “Home” at 741741.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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