NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Earlier this week, Attorney General Drew Wrigley announced that he, along with 33 other attorneys general, sued Meta in federal court.
According to a news release, they are alleging that the company knowingly designed and deployed harmful features on Instagram and its other social media platforms that addict kids and teens.
Meta also falsely assured the public that those features are safe and suitable for younger users.
The attorneys general argue that Meta’s business practices violate consumer protection laws and the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
These practices have been harming and continue to harm the physical and mental health of young users and fueled what the U.S. Surgeon General has deemed a “young mental health crisis” which has ended lives, devastated families, and undermined the potential of the younger generation.
“I am pleased to join my fellow attorneys general in this important effort to address Meta’s troubling role in fostering mental health and emotional problems associated with social media over use, because protecting the well-being of children and teens will always remain a top priority,” said Attorney General Wrigley.
The federal complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and alleges that Meta knew about the harmful impact of its platforms.
Instead of taking steps to reduce those harms, Meta misled the users about the harms of using its platforms, concealing the extent of the psychological and health harms that are being suffered.
The complaint also alleges that Meta knew that young users were active on platforms, and knowingly collected data without parental consent.
Attorney General Wrigley notes that publicly available sources show that Meta profits from purposely making its platforms addictive by using features such as infinite scroll and near-constant alerts.
Those harmful features affect physical and mental health, but did not disclose or attempt to minimize the harm, instead, Meta falsely claimed their platforms were safe.