Attorney Generals in several States are looking into the impact Instagram can have on the lives of children using the app.
The attorneys will investigate Meta’s outreach to young users as well as whether the company violated any consumer protection laws. Extended use of Instagram and other social media apps may lead to mental and social harm for young users.
It is bipartisan, and it includes Attorney Generals from California and Florida as well Kentucky and Massachusetts.
“As adults, especially those of us who are parents, we need to realize that social media companies do everything they can to encourage our kids to be on their platforms for as long as possible and to get as much personal information about them as possible, that worries me, and it’s why attorneys general across the country need to use our authority under our consumer protection laws to investigate these social media platforms,” Alan Wilson, the Republican Attorney General of South Carolina, said.
Rob Bonta (Democratic Attorney General of California) stated that Meta intentionally ignored harmful side effects from prolonged exposure to the product.
“For too long, Meta has ignored the havoc that Instagram is wreaking on the mental health and well-being of our children and teens,” Bonta said. “Enough is enough. We’ve undertaken this nationwide investigation to get answers about Meta’s efforts to promote the use of this social media platform to young Californians – and to determine if, in doing so, Meta violated the law.”
For its part, Meta said the allegations represent a “deep misunderstanding of the facts.”
“While challenges in protecting young people online impact the entire industry, we’ve led the industry in combating bullying and supporting people struggling with suicidal thoughts, self-injury, and eating disorders,” Meta spokesperson LizCrenshaw said in a statement.