Several lawsuits were filed against Meta, the parent company of Instagram, alleging that Instagram harmed the emotional health of teenage girls. Specifically, the suits alleged that the plaintiffs suffered from eating disorders.
Just last fall it was revealed that Facebook knew for years that Instagram can be dangerous to youth. Thirty-two percent of young, female Instagram subscribers were shown to be harmed by the social media platform, according to Facebook’s own study that it conducted in March 2020.
The report was so shocking that it actually led to a bi-partisan push by U.S. senators to hold hearings into the matter.
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Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before Congress about how the company knew all about the harm that Instagram was doing and yet took no measures about this.
Last December, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri was raked over the coal by the U.S. Senate. He was forced to testify before some very angry senators who are tired of all of the controversies surrounding Instagram, Facebook and their parent company Meta.
And this is not the first time that Facebook/Meta has been sued. In February, Meta settled a civil suit over the violation of users’ privacy for $90 million. The case was first brought a decade ago.
Alexandra Martin of Kentucky is one of the plaintiffs. The 19 year old alleges in her suit that she suffered from an eating disorder due to Instagram.
“Alex’s social media use coincided with a steady, but severe, decline in her mental health,” reads the lawsuit. “She was addicted to Instagram and could not stop using Instagram, even when the social media product was directing increasing amounts of harmful content and amplifying that harmful content via Alex’s Instagram accounts and product features.”
And the lawsuit further alleges, “Alex was repeatedly bombarded with and exposed to content recommended and/or made available to her by Meta, which increasingly included underweight models, unhealthy eating, and eating disorder content.”
In one of the suits against Instagram, the alleged victim was a young girl named only as “CN.”
“CN’s use of Instagram developed into a dependency on the Instagram product and coincided with a steady, but severe, decline in her mental health,” the lawsuit alleges.
The suit reads, “Meta’s social media product pushed 12-year-old CN down a dangerous rabbit hole.”
“Meta knows that its product is contributing to teen depression, anxiety, even suicide and self-harm. Why doesn’t it change these harmful product features and stop utilizing algorithms in connection, at least, with teen accounts? Because Meta’s priority is growth and competition concerns, and it sees ‘acquiring and retaining’ teens as essential to its survival.”