Dozens of States Sue Meta Over Its Impact On Children

October 25, 2023

Just like Big Tobacco and vaping companies have done in years past, Meta chose to maximize its profits at the expense of public health, specifically harming the health of the youngest among us.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, who helped lead 33 states in a lawsuit against Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook. The case – filed on Tuesday – claims Meta unfairly targets children, fueling social media addiction.

Why It Matters: In addition to the suit filed by 30+ states, “The District of Columbia and eight other states filed separate lawsuits on Tuesday against Meta with most of the same claims” (The New York Times). The number of states (33) combining legal resources to sue a tech giant indicates widespread government interest in the issue. The lawsuit largely stems from a 2021 investigation into Meta and its social media platforms impact on young people – and argues that Meta employs manipulative tactics and schemes which “exploit young users for profit, per the 233-page federal complaint. The future of the case remains to be determined, though Meta is expected to work to dismiss it.

Meta’s Response:We’re disappointed that instead of working productively with companies across the industry to create clear, age-appropriate standards for the many apps teens use, the attorneys general have chosen this path,” Meta said in a statement, also noting that it has been working to create a safer environment for teens using its apps.

Read More:

Meta Accused by States of Using Features to Lure Children to Instagram and Facebook (The New York Times)

41 states sue Meta, claiming Instagram, Facebook are addictive, harm kids (The Washington Post)

States sue Meta claiming its social platforms are addictive and harm children’s mental health (The Associated Press)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas