Lawyers for Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, will have to convince the court that the websites did not contribute to the children’s mental health crisis. Prosecutors from over 30 states in the US accuse the websites of illegally collecting data about the youngest users and making them addicted to harmful content.
“Meta has leveraged powerful and unprecedented technologies to attract, engage and ultimately ensnare youth and teens. Its motive is profit, and in an effort to maximize its financial profits, Meta has repeatedly misled the public about the significant risks associated with its social media platforms,” prosecutors from dozens of states in the US wrote in the complaint, including: New York and California.
They are demanding financial compensation for collecting information about users up to 13 years of age without the consent of their legal guardians and hiding how the websites “exploit and manipulate” children and teenagers. New York Attorney General Letitia James says social media companies are to blame for young people’s low self-esteem and the mental health problems they experience.
Meta assures that it does not abuse the trust of children and young people
Meta disagrees with the accusation that it profits from children’s pain and deliberately designs its platforms with features that are addictive to the youngest users.
She argues that she has already introduced over 30 tools to support teenagers and their families.
“We are disappointed that rather than work productively with companies in our industry to create clear, age-appropriate standards for the many apps teens use, attorneys general have chosen this path,” the company said in a statement responding to the allegations.
This time, however, the place to repel attacks will not be the Internet, but the courtroom.