- Thirty-three US states have filed a lawsuit in federal court in California against Meta over accusations the company has designed Facebook and Instagram features to 'ultimately ensnare youth and teens' in pursuit of maximizing profit.1
- The total number of states suing Meta rises to 41 plus Washington, DC when adding in nine attorneys general who are filing lawsuits in their states.1
- The states say research about children’s use of Meta’s social media platforms shows a direct link between the platforms and 'depression, anxiety, insomnia, interference with education and daily life, and many other negative outcomes.'2
- Meta could face substantial civil penalties in addition to several other consequences.3
- Meta responded in a statement, expressing its disappointment over the suit, and saying its goal is to provide teens with 'safe, positive experiences' on the platforms.4
- Narrative A, as provided by NPR Online News. Meta's deception in light of its own research showing the addictive nature of its platforms for youth is reminiscent of Big Tobacco’s assault on public health and its harmful lying when faced with litigation in the '90s. Like the tobacco companies, hopefully, Meta will be forced to pay restitution and develop ways to make their products safer.
- Narrative B, as provided by Fortune Well. There have been mixed results in past lawsuits against Meta and other Big Tech firms. In the meantime, parents should be taking the initiative — speaking with their children about how social media makes them feel, limiting their screen time, and doing their best to monitor the type of content their kids are consuming. The tech giant has internal controls but parenting is and should always be the first line of defense.