Meta Platforms is the parent company to both Facebook and Instagram. Meta is currently in the midst of a flurry of lawsuits brought in at least eight States for the damages it has caused to kids mental health. Some people are asking why is the lawsuit being brought now? Well, while many of us knew that too much screen time and especially with social media apps people tend to be less happy, it appears that Meta knew much more than that. Meta had conducted specific research on the topic of its users' mental health. This information was leaked by a whistle blower in 2021, which showed a number of other real world harms exacerbated by the company. The company was not just aware of these problems but had actively researched, investigated, and then ignored the data in favor of profits.
What is the Cause of Action against Meta?
The primary cause of action is based off of the area of product liability. Basically, the allegations is that Meta Platforms designed and manufactured a defective product that was dangerous to its users and as a result caused harm. The platforms (or products) employed addictive tactics to increase user time on frequency to the product while pushing harmful content to those users. Beyond that, it was aimed primarily at young, immature, and vulnerable users that do not have a fully developed pre-frontal cortex. (which is the area of the brain responsible for controlling decision making and willpower)
“The defendants knew that their products and related services were dangerous to young and impressionable children and teens, yet they completely disregarded their own information,” said Beasley Allen attorney and Mass Torts Section Head Andy Birchfield. “They implemented sophisticated algorithms designed to encourage frequent access to the platforms and prolonged exposure to harmful content.”
There are other causes of action based upon negligence and failure to warn. Other creative causes of action may be added to these suits as more information is obtained.
What are the Plaintiff's alleging as damages?
According to the lawsuits that have been filed, prolonged exposure to the platforms has resulted in actual or attempted suicides, self-harm, eating disorders, severe anxiety, depression, and reduced ability to sleep. There are likely other injuries that have been alleged or may be brought up later, but those listed above are the primary focus of the lawsuits.
If you have a child that has been exposed to these platforms (facebook or instagram) and due to that exposure suffered injuries then please reach out to us to discuss this case against Meta Platforms. Your child may have a claim against this company for its deliberate choice to choose profits over people.