Facebook, now Meta, is leading the way in another social media trend — lawsuits claim that the company built algorithms in its platform to attract young people addicted to vandalism.
Facebook, now Meta Platforms Inc., is now a leader in another social media trend — lawsuits claim that the company built algorithms in its platform to appeal to young people. destructive addiction age.
Eight complaints filed in courts across the US last week allege that overexposure to platforms including Facebook and Instagram has led to intentional or actual suicides. eating disorders and insomnia, among other problems.
“These apps may have been designed to minimize possible harm, but instead, a decision was made to target addicted teens on behalf of the company’s profits,” said attorney Andy. Birchfield, principal at Beasley Allen, the law firm that drafted the lawsuits, said in a statement Wednesday.
The complaints add to the recent explosion of cases against Meta and Snap Inc., including several filed by parents of children who took their own lives. The lawsuit follows high-profile testimony by a former Facebook employee in Congress that the company refuses to take responsibility for harming the mental health of its youngest users.
A spokesperson for Meta declined to comment on the lawsuit but noted that the company has developed tools for parents to track their children’s activity on Instagram and set time limits. Meta also offers a “Take a break” prompt that encourages users to take a break from social media.
Additionally, the company is providing resources specifically for eating disorders, making potentially sensitive content harder to find, and developing the use of artificial intelligence to ensure that children under the age of 13 are not can sign up for Facebook or Instagram, according to the spokesperson.
One of the new lawsuits filed by Naomi Charles, a 22-year-old woman, says she started using the Meta platform as a child and that her addiction led to her suicide attempt. and other sufferings.
Meta “misrepresented the safety, utility, and non-addictive nature of their products,” according to the complaint in Miami federal court.
Charles, like other users, is seeking monetary damages to compensate for his emotional distress, loss of life, and the cost of hospitalization and medical bills.
Complaints in the suit include faulty design, failure to warn, fraud, and negligence. Complaints have been filed in federal courts in Texas, Tennessee, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Missouri.