A coalition of 41 US states and the District of Columbia sued Meta (parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) on Tuesday and argued that its social networks Instagram and Facebook are addictive and harmful to children.
This legal action is the most important effort by the state authorities to stop the impact of social networks on the mental health of minors and to force Meta to change the characteristics of its networks because of what it is dangerous, as they claim, for children. .young users.
A total of 33 states, including Colorado and California, filed a joint lawsuit in federal court in the Northern District of California, while other attorneys general in Washington DC and 8 states filed suit. -file various complaints in federal, state or local courts.
The barrage of lawsuits stems from a 2021 investigation into various ways the tech titan has contributed to youth mental health problems.
In 2021, The Wall Street Journal revealed in a report prepared with internal information how Instagram worsened the perception of users – especially girls and teenagers – about their bodies. , and noted that the company is aware of this problem.
Since then, some states such as Arkansas and Utah have passed laws that prohibit children under 13 from accessing social media and require adolescents under 18 to obtain parental consent to access to sites.
For its part, California has passed laws requiring technology companies to check their platforms for possible risks and problems.