In a remarkable legal development, attorneys general representing 33 states joined forces on Tuesday to initiate a lawsuit against Meta, the parent company of Facebook. The lawsuit asserts that Meta’s actions are specifically targeting children.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced that his office has filed a lawsuit against Meta Platforms Inc. (Meta) for its harmful business practices that target children and teens. https://t.co/ZK796Df9q8
— WSIL News (@WSILNews) October 24, 2023
The case was opened in California and has garnered support from a bipartisan coalition of attorney generals who express concerns about the practices of Mark Zuckerberg’s media empire, which they believe has had a detrimental impact on the well-being of youths.
The attorneys cite that Meta intentionally impacts children in a way that negatively affects their mental health. A copy of the lawsuit claims that Meta utilizes both Facebook and Instagram to unlawfully collect personal information from children under the age of 13, thereby violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
The 233-page lawsuit goes further, claiming that Meta has leveraged powerful and unprecedented technologies to allure, engage, and entrap children and teenagers.
Moreover, it accuses the company of prioritizing profits over the health of children and asserts that Meta has consistently misled the public regarding the significant risks associated with its social media platforms. The attorneys general claim that Meta has concealed how these platforms exploit and manipulate their most vulnerable consumers.
The lawsuit places considerable emphasis on Instagram, a platform that the attorneys general contend has been used by at least half of American teenagers, often to the detriment of their mental well-being.
According to the complaint, Meta employs Instagram to manipulate teenagers into joining the platform and keeping them engaged through its algorithms, which shape their perceptions.
A never-ending “feed” on the platform is said to “tease” children into spending more time there.
The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of California and seeks penalties, restitution, and a court ruling to compel Meta to cease its current practices. Notably, it enjoys widespread support from attorney generals spanning coast to coast, representing states from New York to Kansas.
In response to the lawsuit, a Meta representative provided a statement to NBC News, denying the allegations and affirming Meta’s supposed commitment to providing a safe online environment for teens and their families.