New Lawsuit Alleges Meta Is Putting Your Kids’ Mental Health at Risk

Ashley Moody

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a federal lawsuit against Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, on Tuesday, alleging that the company uses “manipulative” features to keep minors hooked on its social media platforms.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. district court in Tampa, alleges that Meta’s platforms are designed to maximize the time minors spend on the apps, even if it comes at the expense of their mental health. The lawsuit specifically points to features such as the “infinite scroll” design and auto-play features, which can make it difficult for young users to disengage.

Meta verse

In addition, the lawsuit alleges that Meta has deceptively downplayed the negative impacts of social media on the mental health of teens and other young people. The lawsuit cites a U.S. surgeon general’s advisory titled “Social Media and Youth Mental Health,” which found that children and adolescents on social media are commonly exposed to extreme, inappropriate, and harmful content, and those who spend more than three hours a day on social media face double the risk of poor mental health.

Moody’s office is seeking an injunction against Meta to prevent future violations of state and federal laws and to award civil penalties and attorney fees for “willful violations” of the Florida law.

Meta has denied the allegations in the lawsuit, saying that it shares the attorneys general’s commitment to providing teens with safe, positive experiences online and has already introduced over 30 tools to support teens and their families.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal challenges against Meta over its alleged harmful impact on children. In October 2023, 33 states filed a similar lawsuit against Meta in California.

The outcome of the lawsuits could have a significant impact on Meta’s business and its ability to target minors with its advertising.

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