Several US states on Tuesday accused Facebook and Instagram owner Meta of profiting “from children’s pain,” by saying that the platforms are damaging their mental health and misleading people about the safety of these platforms. “In seeking to maximize its financial gains, Meta has repeatedly misled the public about the substantial dangers of its Social Media Platforms,” argued a joint lawsuit filed in federal court in California. More than 40 states are sueing the platforms in both local and federal courts.
They argued that Meta has created a business model that has since seen young users spend much of their time utilizing the platform at the expense of their health. The New York Attorney General in a statement on law suit stated that,””Kids and teenagers are suffering from record levels of poor mental health and social media companies like Meta are to blame.” She also stated that,”Meta has profited from children’s pain by intentionally designing its platforms with manipulative features that make children addicted to their platforms while lowering their self-esteem.” The suit aims at reveling the deceptive means that Meta using to harm a already vulnerable youth for their own financial gains.
The suit also aims at making the companies accountable for ” harming children and taking advantage of the youth.” However Meta has refuted the claims and said that the states suing them had refused to work with them in setting up age- appropriate standards. They also said that the company had developed more than 30 tools in its apps to support teenage users, and made it easier for parents to “shape” online activity. The Tech giant said that social media can also help youth struggling with self esteem and other challenges arguing that through social media they can interact with social media commun ity and find solution or support.The investigation was launched after Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked more than 20,000 pages of internal documents to the media that sparked criticism that the social media giant had put profit before the security of its users.