A group of state attorneys general is investigating the photo-sharing platform Instagram and its effects on children and young adults, saying that its parent company Facebook – now called the Meta Platform – has created physical and social issues for young people. Ignored internal research about mental health dangers.
The investigation is led by a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general of California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee and Vermont. This follows damaging newspaper reports, first by The Wall Street Journal, based on the company’s own research, which found that the company was aware of it. The harms Instagram can cause teens – especially teenage girls – when it comes to mental health and body image issues.
Since those first reports, a consortium of news organizations, including The Associated Press, have published their own findings based on leaked documents from whistleblowers. Francis Haugen, who testified before Congress and a British parliamentary committee on what they found.
“for too long, meta California Attorney General Rob Bonta has ignored the havoc Instagram is wreaking havoc on the mental health and well-being of our children and teens. “Enough is enough. We launched this nationwide investigation to get answers about META’s efforts to promote the use of this social media platform for young Californians – and to determine whether, In doing so, Meta has violated the law.”
Investigating targets, among other things, the techniques used by Meta to keep young people on its platform – and the amount of time spent on Instagram could be at a disadvantage.
In a statement, Meta spokeswoman Liza Crenshaw called the allegations “false” and said they displayed a “deep misunderstanding of the facts.”
Crenshaw said in the statement, “Challenges in protecting young people online affect the entire industry, but we have led the industry in helping and supporting those struggling with suicidal thoughts, self-injury and eating disorders.” Is.”
The state investigation follows Monday’s announcement that Ohio’s largest public employee pension fund sued Meta, alleging it deliberately made public aware of the negative effects of its social platforms and the algorithms that run them. broke federal securities law by misleading.
The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System lawsuit claims that Facebook Buried inconvenient findings about how the company managed those algorithms as well as the steps it took to protect the public.