Storm of lawsuits against Meta. A coalition of 41 US states and the District of Columbia sued the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp on Tuesday, arguing 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, as they claim, they are dangerous for children.
All these demands aim to stop the impact of social networks on the mental health of minors.
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 eight states filed various complaints in federal, state, or local courts.
The rain of cases has sown the seeds of a 2021 investigation into the various ways in which the technology conglomerate led by Mark Zuckerberg contributes to increasing mental health problems among young people.
The links between social networks and mental health
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.
Arkansas and Utah have passed laws banning children under 13 from accessing social media.
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 sites. California has passed laws requiring tech companies to check their platforms for potential risks and problems.
Meta also received a slap on the wrist in recent days from the European Commission, which asked him for explanations on how he plans to prevent “manipulative” and “ultrafast” content about attacking Hamas in Hamas from the spread of its social networks Israel and about the upcoming elections in the territory of the community.